“Off-the-charts sweet.” “Ridiculously easy to peel… and seedless!” “The best citrus fruit I have ever tasted.”
So report some of the many, many fans of sumo citrus, the navel-mandarin-pomelo hybrid that is sweeping the social media of fruit fans stateside. Perfected after 30 years of hard work in Japan, it blazed into American awareness when Instagram icon and children’s book author Eva Chen talked it up in a post.
Though it was difficult to get your paws on sumo citrus for a long time, the fruit darling of the fashion world is newly available all over the place stateside. It even has its own website, like a proper branded fruit does nowadays. Find sumo citrus at a grocery store or order for delivery now until around April. Here’s what makes it wonderful.
1. Its Looks
You couldn’t show up to a party just carrying a bunch of grapes instead of a bottle of wine. You wouldn’t look generous; you’d look cheap (or like a Roman statue). But these babies are huge, sitting in the palm of your hand like they own the place. The little bubble on top, part of their unique appeal, garnered them the nickname dekopon, or “topknot,” in Japan. And sumo citrus isn’t inexpensive; you’ll look like a smart, tasteful guest bringing this instead of wine.
2. Its Heritage
It took the Japanese thirty years to develop these using natural methods. They trace to the 1970s in Japan, and although seedlings were transported to the U.S. in the 1990s, it took until 2011 for them to become available to the public. They are notoriously difficult to grow, and it takes a long time for the fruit to ripen on the tree.
3. Its Wow Factor
It was only very recently that this fruit became available stateside, and only this year that it became very widely available. They grow in California but you can find them coast-to-coast in grocery stores.
4. Its Sweetness
Maybe the scent of an orange conjures soccer games of your youth and exhausted, obligatory sideline citrus consumption. This doesn’t. It blooms with a bouquet of mandarin sweetness when you peel it (which, by the by, is a snap compared to a traditional orange). It’s so sweet, nearly off-the-chart sweet, that you can add it to a smoothie bowl or granola and skip the sweetener. It makes a cheese board something guests can’t resist. And it’s almost more of a dessert than a fruit to eat out of hand. Set these out after a hearty meal and get zero complaints.
But don’t take our word for it. Learn more about sumo citrus and order them to your door here.