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 topknot. 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.
Psst ... Save on dekopon citrus from March 15 through March 28!
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 levels 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.
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 topknot. 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.
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.
On-the-go snack: Packable and lunch box friendly, dekopon citrus is an ideal snack for the office or school day. Tuck the segments into a colorful bento box alongside sliced veggies, salads and more.
In a yogurt or smoothie bowl: For a next-level breakfast or snack, cut dekopon citrus segments into smaller pieces and add to Greek Yogurt with Honey and Thyme opens in a new tab or our Vegan Smoothie Bowl opens in a new tab (instead of grapefruit).
Better-for-you dessert: Try dekopon citrus after dinner for a sweet treat.
Mixed into salads: Toss cut dekopon citrus segments with leafy greens, toasted nuts, beets and goat cheese for a lunch salad or easy dinner side dish. Try it in: Beet Salad with Oranges and Romaine opens in a new tab.
Zested for treats: Dekopon citrus zest can add a citrusy flavor to dessert recipes like cakes, cookies, pies and more. Swap the zest into your favorite recipes that use orange zest, such as this classic Strawberry Shortcake opens in a new tab.
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.