In recent weeks, the Sumo orange has come into my life. If you are a fan of citrus, you’ll enjoy learning a bit about this juicy, seedless, ultra-sweet orange.
The Sumo (like a Sumo wrestler) is a cross-breed between a satsuma and mandarin-pomelo variety. The oranges were developed in Japan with traditional plant-breeding techniques (so they are non-GMO), where they are often given as gifts. They are really big, hence the name.
They have a very thick outer layer and are easy to peel because they lack the white netting around the sections. Their growing season is short—from January to April—so you need to snatch them up now, while you can!
Sumo oranges are a bit pricey for a number of reasons. There is only one grower in the U.S. (in California), the trees are difficult to grow (at least 4 years before they begin producing), and the oranges require special care.
The fruit bruises easily, so they must be hand-picked, and producers must apply a natural clay-based sunscreen on the peels throughout the summertime for protection. Now that’s some TLC!
Once the fruit is ripe, it’s carefully transported to a specific packaging facility for testing. Each Sumo Citrus orange is measured for proper sugar and acid levels and gets tossed out if it doesn’t meet the producer’s high standards.
This delicious fruit is prized for being a novelty more than a health food. It has a higher amount of fiber, Vitamin C, and calcium than the average orange, mostly due to its massive size. Since the fruit is produced with low-acid levels, Sumo oranges could be an option for those who don’t tolerate acidic foods well.
As we take extra measures these days to stay healthy, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is a must. And remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, drink plenty of water, and get your sleep.
To Your Health,
“I love fresh citrus and always keep lemons, limes, and oranges on hand; they come in handy for spritzing up quickly grilled meats, seafoods, and vegetables, especially when followed up by a quick drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.”– Emeril Lagasse