Satsumas Are Worth Seeking Out — Here’s Why
How to make the most of this delectable winter citrus.
This winter, you may start seeing bins of fruit that look like slightly larger clementines or tangerines at your local supermarket. These aren’t just another snack-worthy citrus—the fruit is juicy and sweet, with a tender red-orange flesh that’s easy to peel (for this reason, satsumas are a great kid-friendly snack.)
Satsumas are a variety of mandarin oranges, related to tangerines, clementines, and other citrus fruits. They are considered the juiciest of the family and have a balanced sweet-yet-tart flavor that makes them delectable on their own or used in savory dishes and desserts.
You’ve probably had satsumas before without realizing it—they’re actually the most common citrus used in canned mandarin oranges, according to The New Food Lover’s Companion. But there’s nothing quite like a fresh satsuma. They grow in the southeastern U.S. and in northern California, and they’re at their peak from late October through the end of December. Look for satsumas that are heavier than they look (that’s all that delectable juice), with a firm touch and tight peel. You can store the fruits on the counter for up to a week or refrigerate them for up to a month.
Just like you order orange chicken takeout or bake orange slices over salmon, satsumas can be enjoyed as a savory addition to your favorite seafood and chicken dishes. Because satsumas are particularly juicy, we love them incorporated into sauces or sliced and layered over protein for a bright flavor. Here are some of our favorite savory satsuma recipes.
- Oven Roasted Chicken Breasts with Satsuma Tapenade
- Roasted Endive with Satsuma Glaze
- Salmon with Satsuma-Soy Glaze
- Seared Sea Scallops with Satsuma, Parsley, and Shallot Salsa
- Lacquered Flounder
We also love the intense juice from these sweet fruits, so we incorporate the flavors into our guest-worthy cocktails or prepare segments in a cake for gorgeous, winter desserts. Try one of our favorite sweet satsuma treats and beverages here.