CO-Horts Blog

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Sumo Citrus = Love.

Posted by: Alison O'Connor, Larimer County Extension

Oh, Sumo Citrus how I love thee.
Sumo Citrus. Awesome. Tasty. Incredible. And 1000 other adjectives that describe yummy.
Wait--you haven't heard of Sumo Citrus? Really?? Let me tell you--you're missing out. And you may actually miss out, since they have such a short season. I told a few of my co-workers about this incredible fruit and they went nuts! There was a flurry of text messages and dashes to the grocery store to buy them.

The Sumo Citrus, in short, is amazing. By far the best Mandarin orange I've had. Actually, the best orange I've had. Period. Seedless, sweet, easy-to-peel and a great winter treat.

I love when certain produce comes into season--think Bing cherries, Colorado peaches, Honeycrisp apples and the sweetest sweet corn. Sumo Citrus is no exception--when they arrive in the grocery store, I buy in bulk. It's not an inexpensive purchase (they are usually about $3/pound), but worth every penny. And then I hoard them. Protective of every juicy segment.
Both, sadly, have been eaten.
The Sumo Citrus was developed in Japan and is grown in the United States in California, on family farms in the San Joaquin Valley. The fruit is pretty distinct because they are large, bumpy and usually have a large knob on the top of the fruit (called the Sumo "top knot").

The rind seems to be naturally separated from the fruit, so it's very easy to peel and almost just falls off once you get it started.
Sumo is so easy to peel!
And the taste! Exceptional. Sweet, but not too sweet, great orange flavor and when you're finished, you want to eat another (but you don't because they are too special).
Yum yum yum.
Growers claim the Sumo Citrus is around from February to May, but I think I only saw them into March last year. Maybe there are more growers and we'll have a longer season. But I am already sad for the day they'll disappear from the produce section and will patiently wait for 2019. Until then, I have my stash and will enjoy every bite!
Maybe the short growing season is what makes them so special?

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