Satsuma’s Great ‘Ap-peel’
By Robbie Sigona
They are my sons’ favorite, my favorite, Uncle Carmelo’s favorite…they’re everyone’s favorite! I’m talking about Satsuma mandarins, those little and undoubtedly quick, satisfyingly sweet snacks. Small, sweet, seedless, easy to peel and bursting with juice, Satsuma mandarins are proof that good things come in small packages.
Satsumas are a favorite for customers too, so next week (Jan. 18-24, 2012) we’re giving you a free 3 lb. bag of fresh-picked, local Satsumas with your coupon and a purchase of $30 or more. Satsumas for the whole family!
We have two Satsuma suppliers this year: Blue Jay Satsumas from Johnston Farms in Edison, Calif. (just east of Bakersfield) and Family Tree Farms, a grower, packager and shipper of Satsumas grown surrounding areas; they’re based just east of Fresno. We’ve had Blue Jay Satsumas in since November and can hardly keep them on the shelves – they’re a bright, juicy fruit everyone looks forward to during the chilly months.
Where our Satsumas are Grown
Johnston Farms, a four-generation strong farming operation, distributes their produce, including various citruses, potatoes and bell peppers, under the name Blue Jay. 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.
Family Tree Farms Satsuma mandarins grow at Shiraz Ranch on the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley – an area just within our 150 mile “what’s local” radius. The warm days and cool nights in the valley enhance the flavor and color of citrus grown in the area. We consistently get superb produce from the San Joaquin Valley, and these Satsumas do not disappoint.
What’s more is all Satsumas distributed by Family Tree Farms are hand picked when perfectly ripe to ensure flavor.
Satumas 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.
The Satsumas with stems & leaves are also a draw for those celebrating Chinese New Year, which falls on January 23rd this year (it’s the year of the dragon!).
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.
Oranges 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. Also, Johnston Farms notes that citrus fruits have been linked to protection against diseases, such as larynx, mouth and stomach cancers, as well as stoke.
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 also fit nicely in a lunch box. While Satsumas are great snacks by themselves, make sure you check out some of our serving suggestions and recipes, such as a recipe for Gluten-free Satsuma Mandarin Multigrain Cookies. They have fantastic flavor!
Don’t forget to get your free 3 lb. bag of Satsumas next week (Jan. 18 – 24, 2012). They’re yours free with your coupon and a purchase of $30 or more. See you in the store!