Citrus fruit date back as far as 2200 BC, when tributes of mandarins and pummelos were presented in the imperial court of Ta Yu in China (Webber 1967). However, it is believed that some citrus (lemons, limes, and citrons) originated in the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia and spread westward into India. From there, some citrus fruit (early forms of oranges and shaddocks, ancestors to the grapefruit) made their way to China. The present form of the orange is believed to have developed in eastern China. Mandarins first are mentioned in eighth-century Bc Sanskrit literature. The first mention of the orange appears in the Shucking, a Chinese book of the sixth century Bc (Jahoda 1976). The citron was first mentioned in 310 Bc by Theophrastus. Alexander the Great is believed to have introduced citrus into Europe between about 300 and 400 sc. Chinese literature in 200 BC mentions easy-to-peel mandarins.
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