What Is Sumo Citrus and Where Can You Buy It?

If you’ve never tried Sumo Citrus, it’s time to remedy that ASAP. 

Fresh Raw Sumo Oranges
Photo: bhofack2/Getty Images

Have you heard of Sumo Citrus, the Japanese fruit that's taking the U.S. by storm? Here's everything you need to know about the super sweet orange, including where to find it:

What Is Sumo Citrus?

The Sumo Citrus, also called the Sumo Orange, is a hybrid of navel oranges, pomelos and mandarins. It was first cultivated in the 1970s in Japan, where it's known as Dekopon. In the U.S., they are grown in California's San Joaquin Valley.

The large, seedless, easy-to-peel fruit looks kind of like a misshapen orange with bumpy skin and a protruding bump on top (called a "topknot").

"Sumo Citrus" is a brand name, but it's become a generic term to refer to the fruit in the U.S.

What Does Sumo Citrus Taste Like?

Sumo Citrus is super sweet with a distinctly citrus-like flavor. It tastes like other oranges, but less acidic and tart. All Sumo Citrus fruits should have the same level of sweetness, regardless of size.

The variety was bred not only for its sweetness, but also for it's easy-to-eat anatomy: Its skin peels away without a mess and the segments separate easily. Plus, there are no seeds to contend with.

Sumo Citrus Season

Like other citrus fruits (including lemons, limes, and grapefruits), Sumo Citrus are in season during the winter. You can find them in stores every year from January to April.

Sumo Citrus Nutrition

Lucky for us, Sumo Citrus is as nutritious as it is delicious. According to the manufacturer of Sumo Citrus, each fruit contains a whopping 163 percent of the Daily Value for immune-boosting vitamin C. But that's not all! It also contains 10 percent of the Daily Value for potassium, which supports heart health.

How to Pick Sumo Citrus

Not all Sumos look alike, and that's OK. There may be slight variations from fruit-to-fruit in size, peel texture, and topknot prominence — none of these things will affect the quality.

When you give the fruit a gentle squeeze, it should be firm with slight give. A loose-fitting rind means it will be easier to peel.

Where to Buy Sumo Citrus

It's getting easier and easier to find Sumo Citrus throughout the U.S. (you can find a list of retailers on the manufacturer's website).

If you find it in the produce section, you might be surprised by the high price tag. As it turns out, the funny-looking fruit is kind of a pain to grow: "It takes four years of constant love and care before a Sumo Citrus tree produces any fruit," according to the manufacturer. "Despite its rugged appearance, this delicate fruit requires far more expertise and gentle handling than any other piece of citrus."

How to Store Sumo Citrus

Store Sumo Citrus in the fridge in a well-ventilated container, as the fruit needs good air circulation. Properly stored, they can last a week or longer.


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