As I strolled the produce section of Whole Foods recently, I came upon a citrus I’d not tried: Satsuma Mandarin Oranges (pron: sat-SOO-mah). The perfect orange orbs had leaves still attached, making them as photogenic as a Dutch painter’s still life.
Small, Juicy and Sweet
These little thunderbolts of flavor are great for the lunch box, kids’ snacks, and fruit salads. Eat them anytime you’re feeling a bit peckish or need an energy boost. Being packed with vitamin C gives Satsumas an A+ in nutrition.
An Ancient Fruit
Satsumas are thought to have originated in India and were later cultivated in China, where they acquired the name Mandarin. By the 16th century, the diminutive fruit made its way to Japan, where it took on the name Satsuma.
The orange arrived in Florida in the the 1870s and is now grown in the U.S. primarily in California and some of the Gulf states.
Little Bites of Happiness
While related to tangerines and clementines, they are sweeter and juicier and especially easy to peel. Growers say they have, on the average, 1.5 seeds per orange. I must have bought below average Satsumas, because I haven’t found a seed yet.
This is a citrus you can swoon over.