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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

Karen Chalfen says …

I am delighted to be able to buy Satsumas at Whole Foods, instead of having to "settle" for Clementines. I lived in Japan for a couple of years, where Satsumas were called mikan. They were the snack of choice during the winter. They are absolutely my favorite fruit.

Laura Mathias says …

Have you ever heard Handel's Messiah "Hallelujah Chorus" burst into song in your head when you see something amazing? That is what happened when I saw Satsumas in season again at my Whole Foods store! And then to taste!! Ooooh, to taste!! A soft fruit with an easy nub to peel its rind with, stem and leaf still in tact to remind you of its freshness, and with a flavor so explosive you'd rather eat Satsumas all day over any sweet food you can possibly think of. No baker can even compare with the amount of flavor Mother Nature gave this fruit! It's off-the-shelf good!!

Lynn says …

Love the ideas.

Marybeth Lewis says …

Satsumas.....winter's sunshine!

Richard Melanson says …

Satsumas are the best! - They are a great way to end a light meal -or - to start breakfast-or - just to eat for a snack...

Cat says …

Clementines are the perfect snack for me & my family - just right size-wise, need no refrigeration or special packaging & are DELISH!!

Angela says …

Satsumas - so easy to peel & eat!

Julie Ritz says …

I definitely think satsumas win! They're so juicy, while their flavor is sweet and just the right amount of tangy. I wait all year for them and get so sad because their season is so short. Although clementines are good they just don't compare in flavor or zestiness. Although they are more expensive I think they are worth it, and they are great to eat alone or add to a multitude of dishes!

Linda Lindsey says …

I have to Clementine because I have not had Satsumas and there isn't a song about them. Or is it and I've just never heard it??

Brooke Gilliam says …

I love satsumas!

Allyson Henry says …

I love Clementines! They are easy to peel, always sweet and juicy and seedless. My grandchildren can handle them without a problem. I really like them, but I have not met a citrus fruit that I didn't like!

Anca Vlasopolos says …

Clementines, when fresh and juicy, are a delight to the palate.

Gretchen says …

Satsuma!!!! Watch out clementine there is a new little orange in town and it looks oh so cute with its stem and leaf still on!!!

Amy Nicholls says …

My choice would be Satsuma. They remind me of Christmas time and my home sweet home , CA

Michelle says …

I was stationed in southern Japan for 2 years and they grow satsuma tangerines (they call them Mikans) there. I remember buying huge bags right off base and enjoying them during my holidays away from home. Now, every holiday season I look forward to enjoying my satsuma tangerines and remembering my time in Japan.

Dale M. Borgeson says …

Last month I was on vacation in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. My friends relatives had Satsumas fresh off the trees on their property. It was the first time I had this particular citrus product and fell in love with the ease to peel and the sweetness of the fruit.

Lynda says …

Satsumas, hands down. I wait for them all year long!

Averdon Spencer says …

I am not familiar with the satsumas but we love clementines. They are so sweet and just the perfect size (although my daughter would disagree as she eats at least 3 at a time!).

Beth says …

We love Clementines and always look forward to the season BUT I HAVE to try the Satsumas. They sound delicious! Guess I'm going shopping!

Jennifer Clark says …

The clementine is a perfect travel fruit. It fits in my purse, carry on bag, and my girls school lunches.

Brandi says …

Clementines! But only Bagu brand. I've found those packed in Roxy crates and bags to be especially bitter-- not very enjoyable.

Elaine Scholl-Iglecia says …

I vote for BOLD! Satsumas are my choice.

Carrie says …

Satsumas! They are easier to peel and more fun to say. Plus they taste better and add more zing to recipes. Added bonus - USA! USA!

Angelina I says …

Satsumas! They were always my daughter's favorite and a real treat. Gotta stick with the family fave~

Irene Takamizu says …

When we lived in Japan, our fruit was seasonal only. Satsumas were available almost all winter and I have wonderful memories of sitting around the kotatsu (table heater) with my family, drinking tea and eating Satsumas, talking and laughing, until late into the night.

G Winters says …

I like the zingy taste of satsumas, whole or juiced, and I love to eat the candied peel!

Barbara Brande says …

Satsumas are fabulous! I appreciate their "adult" taste now that I have grown up and have had the good luck to discover them.

KbritkateOswego says …

We await whole foods satsuma a every year.. They are harder to find but the most satisfying citrus there is! Sweet, juicy, easy to peel.. Our whole family lives them and they most closely resemble the 'satsuma' I found at the bottom of my stocking each year at my family Christmas in England!

Alicia Fletcher says …

Satsuma? I have never heard of one, but would love to try one. I love clementines and my grandchildren can eat a whole bag in 3 days.

Joe Marine says …

Clementines are ok but satsumas rule! Having said that I must add that the satsumas you get from either Florida or Califonia are bitter by my standards. Having been raised in Louisiana I must say you cannot beat Louisiana satsumas. Unfortunately the commercial crop from Louisiana was decimated in 1985 when there was a week of 10-15 degree weather. This cold killed most of the trees except those in protected areas of peoples yards. If you know someone from south Louisiana that has a tree have them send you some and you will taste the sweetest orange you have ever eaten.

Julie L says …

Satsumas because they are from the U.S.!

Nina Flannery says …

I have tried both and love them equally. Since the flavor of the Satsumas is a little more tangy I have used a combination of both in recipes.

Valerie G says …

My daughter and I love to eat both the clementines and the satsumas. But I have to say Satsumas are my favorite. My favorite way to enjoy them is as fresh juice.

Barb Streibel says …

Satsumas are great because of the intense flavor and I think they are juicier.

Deb says …

I love Clemintines they are so sweey my grandchildren love them as well.

Connie Smallridge says …

5 grandkids adore clementines!!!!! they love to peel and eat!!

Caroline Houlditch says …

I don't know if I've ever had a satsuma but they sound delicious! So I'm going to go with sataum

Tamar says …

i have long been a fan of clementines, and love using them in my preschool classroom. The children can peel, section and eat them independently, which is a huge bonus. Lately, however, I am falling in love with the satsumas. I have a piece of citrus with my lunch almost every day, and the children (who are supposedly napping....) love to comment on the smell of my fruit, and were noticing the satsumas tell-tale bump. I brought in a case to share with them and they were impressed that they were like clementines. and they could still peel them independently, but more sour and more flavorful, and, of course, had the infamous bump. Hence my new favorites!

Linda Giorgio says …

I can eat Clementines like potato chips. I just can't eat one. I have to have three! I live rurally and finding Clementines is an absolute treat!

Leslie Gerber says …

I like both equally but will buy the Satsumas while they are around and then switch to the Clementines for the duration of the season. To be totally honest, my favorite citrus is a juicy ruby red grapefruit!

Debi says …

I am REAL sweet on Satsumas! I only just tried them a few years ago and I wait for the every year now! Bold and sweet and perfect for recipes and snackin. They have fast become my all time favorite citrus treat.

Michelle F. says …

Satsumas remind me of New Years in Japan,

William Benson says …

Great for a night time snack !!

Donna Rose says …

I have always loved Satsuma mandarins for their intense aroma and flavor. The oils in the peel are so fresh and bright, smelling them is almost as good as eating them...almost.

Buzz Cohen says …

Clementines! I was such a fastidious child that I couldn't bear the mess of peeling an orange and getting the juice and citrus oil on my hands. Easy-to-peel seedless clementines changed my life!

AMFargason says …

I vote for SATSUMAS! Beautifully orange, sweet, easily peeled, and delicious! I especially like them because they are a Louisiana specialty, whether from Plaquemines Parish or our own backyard--none better!!!

Amanda Ivanov says …

We love clementines!!

Audrey says …

Tangerines.

Gayla says …

Satsumas win hands down... Better flavor & easier to peel... Only drawback is duration of season. But we are here now; bring them on!!

Michelle M. says …

Clementines! We can't get enough of them this time of year!

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