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Feb 13, 2012 12:50 PM

Sumo mandarins

Spotted at Whole Foods Venice---The sumo mandarins have arrived! If you haven't tasted these, please treat yourself to the best substitute to chocolate that has ever been bred. At $2.99/lb they're not cheap, but I spent $50/day on these last year and basically survive solely on them when they're in season. Highest sugar content of any fruit--easy to peel and so delicious. I have been calling WF for weeks in anticipation and now they're here! If you're interested, there is also a great article by David Karp about them....

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  1. Try the Korean markets. Dekopons are cheaper.

    4 Replies
    1. re: TonyC

      Ive been to the Han Nam Market in Walnut and Assi In Koreatown and not see dekopons among the multitude of oranges and tangerines. Could you point me to someplace more specific? I'd really like to do a comparison.

      1. re: TonyC

        sumo is simply the brand name for dekopon.

        1. re: kainzero

          Right, but the Sumo is a California Grown Dekopon. But TonyC suggested that one could get the Dekopons much cheaper by buying imported ones at Korean Markets and not have to pay the Marketing Surcharge placed on the Sumos. I'm curious to see if there is any taste or quality difference between the CA grown and the imported Japanese version if I can find them.

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

            imported ones might be waxed and sterilized via heating and cooling while the ones grown in California should not be waxed.

      2. BB,

        Thanks for posting this. I had them last year for the first time and they were awesome. If I remember correctly, when I bought a large bag from WF, they were discounted by 10 percent. I will have to swing by and pick some up!

        1 Reply
        1. re: doug5551

          I found the Sumos this past Sunday at the Marukai in Gardena on Artesia (membership store). The price was $2.99 a pound or $14.99 a box. The boxes had 7 apiece which were the size of a good sized 'ol navel orange. A lady who saw me with the box said, "those are the best, but they get bigger." My first experience so I assume she's right. They are very tasty, but my sister maintains another citrus she got last year (gave me some too) called, I believe a Temecula sweet was sweeter. The Temecula was easier to peel (the skin was loose, like an satsuma but much bigger). The membrane of the Sumo was very thin I must say. If I see another box, I'm sure I'll torture my wallet a bit more.

        2. On this post I bought a crap load of these from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. They were $2.5 lb but well worth it. Good call. Aren't they called Suma instead of Sumo's?

          5 Replies
          1. re: gordo26

            They're called Sumo, or Dekopon. I pick mine up from the Japanese markets in Little Tokyo (Marukai, Nijiya)

            1. re: gordo26

              maybe you're thinking of satsuma mikan?

              1. re: gordo26

                Bought a few this morning from the SM market and gotta say they aren't as sweet as the ones from the Jpn markets last yr. I think the salesgirl was saying the cooler than normal temps during the growing season & immature trees raised the acidity.

                1. re: zinFAN

                  I bought some yesterday too, it was my first time eating them and I thought they were delicious. so I don't have a point of reference for this year's harvest.

                  1. re: zinFAN

                    Interesting... we got ours the first week they came out and although the acid was mild, they had a more 'crispy' taste than juicy. We attributed it to being an early crop. We'll be picking up some more soon and will compare...


                2. Does anyone remember how long these are around for? If I remember correctly, they were available for only a short time last year. It seemed like less than a month.

                  So far I've bought them twice -- once at Bristol Farms in South Pas, and once at Whole Foods on Arroyo Pkwy. Both batches have been very good, but noticeably less sweet than last year, as zinFAN reported.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    According to the folks at the Santa Monica Farmers Market - they will be around for the next six weeks or so.