Jan 9, 2016

Do you know Satsuma

Satsuma Citrus Fruit: some call them oranges, some call them mandarins, some tangerines, I call them delicious. One of my favorite descriptions in the Wikipedia article, a fruit with a meltingly tender texture. 

If you Google information on the Satsuma fruit, you find all kinds of information and misinformation. There are many comparisons and debates about what the fruit really is. An orange? A tangerine?  A mandarin?  In a Cooking Light article the discussion continues: 

"Typically classed with mandarin oranges in the family of Citrus reticulate (a name that references the netlike, or reticulated, white pith beneath the rind), satsumas are sometimes considered a separate species, Citrus unshiu. "To me, the satsuma belongs in its own category," says Aliza Green, chef and author of Starting With Ingredients. "The mandarin is the big category, which contains all the zipper-skinned [easy-peel] fruits. They probably originated in northeast India but like most citrus fruits were cultivated in China and then brought to the west." Hence the name "mandarin." Satsumas, a Japanese variety named for a former province of that country, were developed in the 16th century and introduced to Florida in 1876. Today most American satsumas are grown in California, followed by coastal Louisiana and Alabama, where mild winters allow the fruit to flourish.

And there is always commentary about how how easy Satsuma oranges or mandarins are to peel and always exclamations about how sweet and delicious they are. There are many references to Satsuma peel extract being an active ingredient in cosmetic products and there are many articles with instructions on how to make Satsuma candles. 

From Wikipedia: 
Satsuma, its fruit is "one of the sweetest citrus varieties, with a meltingly tender texture"[9] and usually seedless, about the size of other mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata). 

One of the distinguishing features of the satsuma is the thin, leathery skin dotted with large and prominent oil glands, which is lightly attached around the fruit, enabling it to be peeled very easily in comparison to other citrus fruits. The satsuma also has particularly delicate flesh, which cannot withstand the effects of careless handling. The uniquely loose skin of the satsuma, however, means that any such bruising and damage to the fruit may not be immediately apparent upon the typical cursory visual inspection associated with assessing the quality of other fruits. In this regard, the satsuma might be categorised as a hit-and-miss citrus fruit; the loose skin particular to the fruit precluding the definitive measurement of its quality by sight and feel alone.
Satsumas grown in humid areas may be ripe while the skin is still green.

During the month of December and January they have Satsuma Mandarins prominently on display by the entrance of the Buford Farmers Market ! The sign says they're grown in Louisiana and they currently sell for $1.49 a pound. 

They're  wonderful and Maddie and Morgan enjoy them very much.  If you've not tried them, put them on your grocery list for sure.