Satsuma Season

Now that the holiday with the big orange orbs is over, it’s time to focus on the small ones—it’s satsuma season again. Tangy-sweet and easy to peel, satsumas are a reason to love winter.

eGullet co-founder Jason Perlow, on his blog Off the Broiler, pays homage to satsumas—the first citrus fruit to reach market each fall. His preference is for satsumas from Louisiana, where the “climate is ideal for these fruits, which have a highly aromatic peel that is literally almost falling off in the first place and are absolutely brimming with sweet and tangy juice.”

As Jason points out, the Louisiana citrus industry was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, sustaining a loss of $6.3 million. Many citrus groves had to be plowed under, after being submerged in 14 feet of water during the worst of the storm. But there still are Louisiana satsumas to be had from areas northwest of New Orleans, which managed to escape the worst of the storm and devastation.

California has satsuma woes as well, stemming from challenging weather this past spring. Light harvest caused the Tri-L Mandarin Ranch to suspend their shipping operation, keeping what fruit they do have for customers who make it out to the ranch. “We pride ourselves as being good stewards of the orchards and are working diligently to bring holiday fruit to everyone next year,” they report on their website.

Which should only make you savor these delicious, tangy fruits all the more this year—perhaps, as Jason suggests, incorporated into a version of Nigella Lawson’s flourless Clementine Cake.