I picked up some "Sumo" dekopons today at the Mar Vista Mitsuwa - there's an end-display facing you upon immediately walking into the produce section from the entry.
They come in boxes of eight for $13. If you're not in the know, it's gonna look like a not-so-bright orangey tangelo with rougher skin and you'd walk right by thinking nothing of it. Come to think of it, I wonder if even the customers from Asia will take note? The box itself says nothing about being a dekopon, and if I were a Japanese expat living here for a while, would I recall this as a dekopon? I can't recall if there was a display card in Japanese or not.
Anyway, the verdict is that they are very easy to peel, they are very sweet (my kids have already grabbed a couple on their own with no urging) but the mandarin flavor is not as intense as I anticipated. It's more like a subtle mix of mandarin and orange where the acid somewhat muted. I don't know anything about this fruit's culture other than what I read in David Karp's LA Times' article, but as poster terim1 mentions, it will be interesting to see how this fruit does with time.
We a case at Nijaya in Little Tokyo for a little bit more. They had BIG signs saying it was Dekopons and the actual LA Times article clipped on the display. The Checkers said they were selling well! Supposely the supply is going to last only until the end of March... so if you want to try it... get to the stores!
Anyway, I fully afree with Bulavinaka's assesment. It's a gentle fruit... comparing it to my Mom's super sweet navels, the citrus flavor is really mellow. However, what it lacks in flavor, it makes up in sweetness. Serious, it's like eating wonderfully pulpy orange blossom honey. LOVE it!
Got some a couple of days ago - Whole Foods Glendale. Big display. Was told they are selling fast but they had a lot of them at that time. I cut the peels off to get rid of the pith and sliced them crosswise. They were juicy and tasty! When I peeled one by hand, it was a bit of a bother to get rid of the pith and stringy part - like mandarins have. Also for some reason the one I hand peeled was a bit pulpy. But the sliced Dekopon was delicious. Seemed a bit more mellow in flavor than some orange varieties. Anxious to see how they are as the season goes on.
I did see, buried in the midst of the article, this little factoid - "Expected to arrive in stores this week, it will mostly be sold in California, at Whole Foods, Grow in Manhattan Beach and more than half a dozen Asian stores such as Mitsuwa and Nijiya markets, for about $3 a pound."
Whole Foods stores are all over and if you live on the westside (as I do) both Nijiya and Mitsuwa are close by (Nijiya on Sawtelle just N of Olympic Blvd. and Mitsuwa in Mar Vista on the NE corner of Venice Blvd. and Centinela). Also you can find Nijiya in Torrance and downtown in J-town.
ADD: And if you go to Mitsuwa in Mar Vista don't miss your chance to have a bowl of ramen at Santouka in the little food court.
2130 Sawtelle Blvd 105, Los Angeles, CA 90025
3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066