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Everybody Wins in this Citrus Showdown

Citrus ShowdownUPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered! Congratulations to our winners: Richard S., Brett H., Brenda S., Toni F., Eunice L., The Dickersons, Brian H., Julie B., Isabel M., and Sarah M.

It may be the most wonderfully delicious time of the year – that’s how the song goes, right? – but it’s also becoming the coldest and darkest time of the year too.

That’s why I’m grateful for seasonal citrus. Despite common beliefs, winter is the time for citrus. From tangy Satsumas to tart limes to juicy Tangelos, peak of the season citrus adds flavor bursts to salads, cocktails, baked goods, sauces, vinaigrettes and more. You could say it not only brightens your dishes but your days. Thank you, Mother Nature!

CITRUS SHOWDOWN

This season we’ve got a battle of epic flavor featuring two of our favorite citrus superstars – Satsuma v Clementine – and we need your help to pick the season’s champion.

 

In this corner: Clementine “Main Squeeze”

Clementines are the most well-known mandarin, and for good reason. They are seedless, easy to peel and perfect for both kids and adults.

Flavor: Simple and delightfully sweet with a less acidic finish

Character: Flatter shape, tight leathery rind

Origins: California, Spain and Morocco

Uses: These are perfect for eating out of hand. The mild sweetness pairs well with other simple flavors. Use juice instead of water in baking for extra citrus flavor. Add chopped sections or zest to salads, cookies and granola. They are great for giving as gifts too!

In this corner: Satsuma “The Puma”
Think of Satsuma as clementine’s lively cousin; they’re seedless and easy to peel but bolder in flavor. Gaining quickly in popularity, their peak season is just six to eight weeks, so get ‘em while you can…then enjoy soon after purchase because they’re best when eaten right away!

Flavor: Intense, tangy and sweet with a bright and lively finish

Character: Thinner, loose rind, distinct “top knot”  

Origins: California and Florida

Uses: The bold taste is perfect for adding extra zip to recipes. The peel is delicate and packed with flavor — to zest, peel with a vegetable peeler first, then chop finely. Add sections, juice or zest to desserts, mixed drinks and salads. They’re delicious eaten out of hand too.

Take some home and do a taste test with friends and family. Enjoy them straight out of the peel try them in these recipes that put citrus in the limelight.


MAKE THE MOST OF SEASONAL CITRUS

CitrusBesides cooking with citrus, here are a few more of my favorite ways to use every last bit of these winter gems.

  • Zest it. Add zing to baked goods, stir-fries or stews. 
  • Juice it. What could be better than a fresh glass of juice in the morning?
  • Dry it. Bake peels on the lowest possible heat until dry but still pliable. Use to flavor black tea, roasted chicken or braised meats.
  • Freeze it. Freeze citrus juice or zest until you’re ready to use it.
  • Candy it. Garnish desserts and cocktails with candied peels or enjoy them as a sweet snack.

Don’t limit citrus to the kitchen either. Citrus can successfully be incorporated into your holidays in many ways  - think table arrangements, homemade ornaments, and gifts like a basket of whole citrus or jar of citrus salt.

Do you clamor for clementines or are you sweet on Satsumas? Tell us which one is your citrus champion and why in the comments below. Enter your comment by Wednesday, December 12 and we’ll pick ten winners at random to receive a case of their citrus champion of choice – clementines or Satsumas

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends December 12, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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550 comments

Comments

toni says …

Satsumas all the way!!!

Jennifer M. says …

My citrus champion is the clementine. Love to stick one in my bag and boys lunches and peel and enjoy that sweet citrus flavor

Heather Weber says …

Thank you for the recipe ideas! We have been loving the satsumas lately.

Laura K says …

I like the texture of satsumas best, but clementine zest is better for cooking with.

amy williams says …

I love clementines. They are so small and easy to peel.

elizabeth vanderesch says …

Oh my darling Clementine! These gems are gone almost as soon as these gems come through the front door of our home. They are tasty, easy to peel, just the right amount of tart and, oh boy, they smell wonderfully California-y!

Jackie Misa says …

Clementines!!!!!

Heather says …

I am going to have to choose the clementine, for the same reason I now choose the Meyer lemon - my sweet tooth has all control. :) I would rather swallow my sweet tooth than pucker up with sour disdain. Plus, the lower acidity and ease of peeling truly make this a hands down win for the almighty clementine!

Maeve Connor says …

I LOOOOVE clementines, but I've never had a satsuma, so I'd love to try them out!

Stephanie Kubala says …

Satsumas!!

Laura Ellis says …

Satsuma! So easy to peel and what a zest!

Dana Remaley says …

We like satsumas better....they are easier for the kids to peel themselves and we think sweeter. My kids could eat 25# of theses babies!!

Kevin says …

Satsumas are wonderful for eating. When I brought a few to the office last year, everyone around me smelled them and joined it. Several trips later, everyone was in love and then the season ended. They are also perfect for an orange simple syrup used in a fabulous Old Fashioned.

tammy shelton says …

My sweet favorite is "Clementines" because they are just "Darling"... Oh My!

martha nezgoda says …

Don't have a favorite..like a child...each has it uniqueness...would miss either terribly if one disappeared from my life!!! My favorite part is how easy they are to bring along with you small ....and so easy to peel...just pop a few sections at a time in your mouth...yum!!!

Mrs. Cox says …

Satsumas, hands down! As a kid there would always be one at the foot of our stockings on Christmas morning. :)

Beth says …

Clementines are my quick, grab and go snack. Probably partial to them since they were a favorite of my dad's too. It's one of those "kitchen memories".

Kerri Hernandez says …

We LOVE Clementines! My husband is very busy and is NOT a morning person. Clementines are a perfect wake-me-up breakfast on the go for him, and a quick addition to my lunch bag! We would love a case and put it to great use!

Donna Tingle says …

I have to vote for Clementine. I've never seen a satsuma in the stores in my area yet. I learned about them from my European husband :)

Mike Barzacchini says …

Great post. Lots of good recipe ideas. Confession -- I regularly buy, eat and enjoy Clementines, but have not tried Satsumas. Very interested to do so, though. So, my choice for the "citrus smack-off" is Clementines!

Alicia says …

The clementine is my favorite! They peel so very easily and are the perfect snack size. Their sweetness and firm juicy texture is lovely on cold winter days and the tangy tart tasty always makes me smile. I've never gotten to try a satsuma, sadly, but I certainly want to now!

Yvonne F says …

I love the Satsuma “The Puma”! The bold taste is delightful!

Michelle says …

I did not know there was a difference. I have purchased both beleiving they were both types of clementines as advertised. I would have to say my family's favorite is the Satsumas though. Their tartness is a wonderful burst of freshness on your taste buds in the cold winter months. They also make wonderful healthy stocking stuffers.

Nina Kim says …

Of course Satsuma! With those beautiful leaves and plump fruits they are the best. I love seeing boxes of satsuma at whole foods !

Eva Wong says …

Clementines are my favorite because they're easy to pop one into my purse, super sweet, and easy to peel. They're also a great alternative to candy for the kids!

Jamie Vollmer says …

Clementines - they are nature's snack food. They come individually wrapped and are easy to carry around all day for any snack time need.

Tee Trimble says …

There's nothing better than clementimes, it's anticipated this season just as much as the holidays!

Jamie Smith says …

I love Clementines for their sweetness and portability.

Rose says …

The Satsumas display at our local Whole Foods put a Cupid arrow through my heart! It was love at first sight (and their heady fragrance) Satsumas are truly exceptional to behold, with their pretty leaves, I'd encourage anyone to buy some and crown them in a pretty bowl as your holiday centerpiece! I LOVE making candied citrus, and I would use the peels to make candied Satsumas for gifts. I'd also use the Satsuma to make Satsuma chutney, Satsuma jam (esp use the juce and zest with my frozen rhubarb for Satsuma-Rhubarb jam- it would be such a pretty color - what special gifts for others and for me!), I'd be almost beside myself to use the Satsuma juice in some Asian recipes, so I'd freeze some of the juice in ice cube trays to have it throughout the year. I'd also freeze small tiny jars of zest, to add that special touch any time of year. I'd love to experiment adding Satsuma juice to creme brulee - just enough to add a lilt and complement the vanilla. I would definitely use them in an appetizer Satsuma Marinated Shrimp, using WF's best Wild Shrimp - the best shrimp I've ever. Then I'd also be working on Fennel-Satsuma Fish Cod - I'd like to use yummy WF Cod, esp if it will go on sale again soon-hint - I'm waiting. I'd like to make a chicken salad with Satsuma and Maui onions.I also think that it would be easier to juggle Satsumas than clementines, so I would try to impress my nieces and nephews by doing a mini-juggling act with a few Satsumas at Christmas in order to get them to think of me as their most cool and favorite auntie. I'm not sure a case will be enough! But I would love every cute little Satsuma, and I'd be posting to FB and sharing with my friends, and I'd enjoy every minute of fun and healthy cooking!!!

Mandy StClair says …

Clementines! Ever since I can remember, "Santa" would hide one in the toes of our stockings. They were always more important than anything else in there. To this day, my sisters and I can hardly wait to wake up on Christmas morning to find them.

michael avery says …

satsumas all the way,clamintines ar ok but when you pit it against the satsuma its like it is the satsumas boring cousin

emmial says …

delight to win this

H. Burton says …

I love both. The Clementine is easiest to find. I have had the Satsuma but never knew its proper name. Both are rich in flavor and far less acidic than an orange. I can't choose as they are both wonderful. I want them both and will buy both.

Nikki says …

That is a very hard choice, I like them both. I believe I would choose Clementines

christine a. says …

We love the clementines a bit more as they are the easier snack for my little fellas hands to peel, take many journeys to the out of doors with us and they also are used for a natural household cleaning mixture and scented "water" candles. We do place rinds in many of our baked goods, oriental cooking and more. It was hard to choose which one we use more, as we love them both.

Kim Cage says …

I'm sweet on the Satumas! Would love to try these as they are more bold, according to you..Would love to try and use in some recipes fore Christmas!!! Thanks for the chance to win!

TARA VASBY says …

Clementines - hands down winner! My picky eater loves to snack on them. Easy to peel. Easy to toss into a bag for an on the go snack. And when he sees them in the store he begs for me to buy. How can I say no?

Linda Weissert says …

Love my Satsuma's! Brunch last Christmas started off with Satsuma Pomegranate Bellinis...spectacular!

Sarah says …

I love clementines, it's what Christmas is all about! ;)

Shana says …

Satsumas all the way. Love 'em dipped in dark chocolate and because just saying "satsumas" is awesome.

Kevin Kelleher says …

Are Satsumas naturally seedless or only seedless because the growers keep bees (and other pollinators) away from them?

Katie says …

Satsumas!!!!! At our house its our favorite winter time treat. Love all the citrus fruits but these are our favs. I cook & bake with the rind and we eat the inside so yummy

Brian Hughes says …

I really clamor for clementines!

Betty says …

I love oranges,what a good time to be giving them away,this is the best time of the year.

plantmaven says …

I love clementine. These are the sweet morsels used in so many recipes from my childhood. I really love most tangerines, oranges, and my all time favorite is temple oranges which are nearly impossible to find these days.

Dana F. says …

I have always loved clementines, but had never tasted a satsuma until a recent move to Louisiana. A wonderful woman I met here gave me some home-grown satsumas and they are truly the best citrus fruit I have ever tasted! They are sweet, juicy, delicious and easy to peel. I am now a confirmed satsuma lover!

Sarah Rossman says …

Satsuma because they are like baby Honey Bells. But we do eat a lot of Clementines also.

karen palmer says …

I love clementines. The intense flavor, the gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, yeast free fruit bread i make for christmas cannot be made without them :) We also make homemade face creams with coconut oil and these little beauties as well as use them for air fresheners through our home. They are just perfect :)

Christine Ramsey says …

I used to firmly be in the Clementine camp, until my oldest daughter bought some Satsuma oranges on a trip to Louisiana. From the first bite, I was hooked. They are truly more flavorful and delicious. Unfortunately, I cannot eat them as often as I would like due to their short season, but we were able to make homemade baked cranberry orange doughnuts using the juice and zest from Satsumas, and everyone who tried them commented on how much more flavorful the doughnuts were than usual. If you haven't yet tried one, you should. They are the ultimate of oranges!

Jessica Atkinson says …

Satsuma are the best. They are perfect for flavoring dishes, cookies, cakes to even ice creams. I am a pastry chef so citrus can really elevate my cooking. I love candied peels, dipped in dark tempered chocolate. I love adding it or emulsifying it into a sauce with other tropical flavored like pineapple, mango, kiwi or coconut. It helps round out the other flavors in my sauces, frostings, cakes, cookies, pies, compotes, syrups, to even lemonades. The uses of satsuma is endless. Making them my favorite.

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