January 14, 2004

Clementines Are in Season

Clementines and Satsuma Mandarin oranges are in season. I don't know the difference. There are big boxes of both. We buy them and take them home. Easy to peel. Incredibly juicy. Incredibly sweet.

Posted by DeLong at January 14, 2004 04:02 PM | TrackBack


And the citrus selection at Berkeley Bowl is incredible now. I bet they have more than 10 varieties of oranges, plus various tangerines, pomelos, lemons, limes, blood oranges, and say 5 types of grapefruit. For those of you in the rest of the country: nyaa-nyaa-nyaa.

BTW, what's with the price of staple goods at Safeway? For things like molasses, sugar, flour, etc, things cost a dollar or so more than they should.

Posted by: Matt on January 14, 2004 04:18 PM


My three year old loves them because they are easy to peel and better to eat. I bought a dwarf mandarin orange tree and a dwarf meyer lemon tree in pots. I also planted a pink lemon tree and a dwarf orange tree in the yard. The fruit on the pink lemon tree is really cool looking: light greenish yellow with darker green stripes. Now that I'm middled aged this whole gardening thing has appeal to me now. We'll see if I have any growing skills. But hey, I live in Los Angeles, so all I really need to do is water it and keep the pests away. There is more than enough sunshine. This is one aspect of Southern California that I love. Hopefully next New Years day, I'll wake, walk outside barefoot, pick some pink lemons and make lemonade to sip while watching the Rose Parade and some bowl games.

Posted by: Cal on January 14, 2004 05:25 PM


Satsumas are on the way out. Best time is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Keep them cool because they are fragile and will spoil quickly.

Satsumas come from the citrus groves of Placer County, California. I believe (with little evidence) that Akidas (the famous fruit stand in Auburn with a satellite on the eastern edge of Davis) is the House That Satsumas Built ... since pre-Internment the Sacramento-Placer County fruit industry (Satsuma dominated!) was heavily Japanese-American. The names are still there in suburban Sacramento (redundancy noted): Citrus Heights and Orangevale!

The orange peels help us survive the dank weeks of the tule-fog winter...

Posted by: Marcus Sitz on January 14, 2004 06:07 PM


Ikedas, of course.

Posted by: Marcus Sitz on January 14, 2004 06:08 PM


Clementines tend to be smaller, more spherical, and have a more scented, 'floral' taste and thinner, hard-to-peel skins. Satsumas are flatter at top and bottom, and have thick, easy-to-peel skins, making them ideal for kids. They can also be either sweet, or refreshingly tangy and citrus.

I like tangerines. And I want to grow bergamots to make my own Earl Grey tea.

Posted by: ahem on January 14, 2004 06:21 PM


Oh yes! Also the ones from Costco aren't bad either. I bought six pounds for $4 recently.

Posted by: Cyrus J. Farivar on January 14, 2004 07:30 PM


"Easy to peel. Incredibly juicy. Incredibly sweet." and paradoxically, they are even rich on vitamin-C!

Posted by: Mats on January 15, 2004 12:09 AM


Satsumas, as the name suggests, come from Japan and China, with China the likely origin, though the actual origin is unknown. The first Satsuma trees imported to Japan showed up around 700 years ago. It is a subspecies of Mandarin, of which there are at least 3 varieties. Clementines also come originally from the Far East, with records extending back to 2000 BC. They are most commonly imported to the US from North Africa and Spain. Clementines are also a subspecies of Mandarin, of which there are at least 10 varietes. Anybody who wants to is free to take me to task on my use of the work subspecies.

Posted by: K Harris on January 15, 2004 07:09 AM


Satsumas are near the top of the list for planting in my new "mini-farm" in Boulder Creek. Also Minneolas or Tangelos.

But the top priority is wine grapes.

Posted by: Dave Trowbridge on January 15, 2004 09:38 AM


That's weird--what we get in the south marked "Clementines" and "Satsumas" are exactly opposite to what ahem wrote.

Clementines--errr, satsumas? The flattish, sweet ones with the loose skin that comes off in one or two pieces, yeah, those are the closest I can find to actual Japanese mikan. The other ones remind me of sour tangerines--brr.

Posted by: alsafi on January 16, 2004 07:59 AM


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