Your Guide to Dekopon Citrus: Buying, Recipes & More

Say hello to your new citrus obsession. Find it in our Produce department for a limited time only.

Sumo citrus in bowl

Imagine the perfect citrus — super easy to peel, extra juicy and amazingly sweet. Enter dekopon citrus, a special variety available in our Produce department for a limited time only each year. This fan favorite was cultivated in Japan during the 1970s by a citrus grower on a mission to create the ultimate citrus — big, juicy-sweet and easy to peel. The result? A hybrid of the satsuma, navel and mandarin orange varieties known as dekopon citrus. The word "deko" translates to "bump," nodding to the fruit's characteristic top-knot. After gaining a loyal following in Japan, dekopon citrus made its way to grocery stores in the United States by 2011. Here’s all you need to know about your new citrus obsession.

Supplier Spotlight: Suntreat

Located in California’s San Joaquin valley, Suntreat opens in a new tab works with farms to grow, pack and ship dekopon citrus across the U.S. and to our stores. Because dekopon citrus can be difficult to grow, Suntreat maintains strict standards to ensure the quality of the fruit that ends up in your basket. Some of these standards include:

  • Growing expertise: Dekopon citrus trees can take four years to produce fruit, so experienced farmers must care for and maintain them until they’re ready to be harvested.

  • Tested for quality: Fruits meet specific standards for size and taste before they can even be sold as dekopon citrus. After they are picked, sugar and acid level are measured to guarantee consistency and flavor.

  • Handled with care: Because dekopon citrus can bruise easily, they are picked, cleaned and packed into crates by hand before they are transported.

Dekopon Mandarins being picked

Outside of dekopon citrus, Suntreat also grows and packs popular varieties such as Pummelo Grapefruit, Minneolas and Cara Cara oranges. Learn more about these varieties and others in our Ultimate Citrus Guide.

How to Store Dekopon Citrus

Store dekopon citrus in the refrigerator, preferably in the produce or crisper drawers. The humidity in this space is actually different than the rest of your fridge, and it helps to preserve the flavor and texture of your fruit.

How to Eat Dekopon Citrus

Dekopon citrus are easiest to peel from their top-knot. Gently tear it away and the rest of the skin should peel off easily. Simply separate each segment and then take a bite — the flesh is seedless and it won’t make a sticky mess.

Recipe: Beet Salad with Oranges and Romaine

Our Favorite Ways to Enjoy Dekopon Citrus

Dekopon citrus is delicious enjoyed as is, but there are endless ways to enjoy this versatile fruit. Check out these ideas for inspiration.

Ready to stock up? Visit the Produce department in your local Whole Foods Market store opens in a new tab to get your hands on dekopon citrus when it's in season.