Farm Focus: The Great ‘Ap-peel’ of Satsuma Mandarins

The Great ‘Ap-peel’ of Satsuma Mandarins

By Robbie Sigona

They are my sons’ favorite, my favorite, Uncle Carmelo’s favorite…they’re everyone’s favorite! I’m talking about the Satsuma mandarin, that little and undoubtedly quick, satisfyingly sweet snack. Small, sweet, seedless, and bursting with juice, Satsuma mandarins are proof that good things come in small packages.

We’ve just received the first of this season’s crop from Johnston Farms in Edison, CA. Johnston Farms, four-generation farming operation, distributes their produce, including various citruses, potatoes and bell peppers, under the name Blue Jay.Blue Jay logo2

The Johnston family is dedicated to making sure their Blue Jay products don’t just look good, but provide a flavor experience people will remember. Blue Jay Satsuma mandarins are and always have been excellent and that’s why I seek them out each year.

Mandarin oranges are less acidic than other citrus family members, such as navel orange. These mild, yet deliciously sweet fruits are always seedless, ready-to-eat, and come complete with their stems and leaves intact, so they not only taste great, but they look neat, too – perfect heaped in a bowl full of mandarins, pomegranates and in-shell walnuts for a great fall centerpiece.

Citrus fruits, specifically oranges, are well known for their high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, and there are many other benefits, too, from healthy skin to cancer prevention and lowering cholesterol. Citrus fruits are good sources of minerals, carbohydrates and fibers, and contain essential nutrients that help with proper functioning of the body, such as calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium and vitamins B3 and B6.

The Johnston family are certainly experts in citrus, and according to their Web site, citrus fruits have been linked to protection against diseases, such as larynx, mouth and stomach cancers, as well as stoke. satsumasOranges have more than 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavinoids, many of which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects plus blood-clot inhibiting properties.

Satsumas are the ultimate kid friendly treat, and kids of all ages love them! Small enough to fit one or two in the palm of your hand, they fit nicely in a lunch box! While Satsumas are great snacks by themselves, make sure you check out some of our serving suggestions here on our blog. Also, be sure to read Robbie’s produce

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables -- some you won't find anywhere else.

tips below!

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Satsuma Mandarins

  • Select fruits that are unblemished and slightly heavy for their size
  • Bright color is not necessarily an indication of quality as some fruits naturally have green patches even when fully ripe
  • Store them in a cool, dark place for a few days or refrigerate to extend shelf life up to two weeks
  • The best California-grown Satsuma mandarins are typically in season from mid November through January

Click here for five simple, healthy & delicious ideas for using Satsumas!

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