What the Heck Are Sumo Oranges, and Why Are They So Popular?

Brittany Natale
·1 min read
Or sometimes known as a Sumo Mandarin Orange
Or sometimes known as a Sumo Mandarin Orange

If you've been hearing about Sumo oranges a lot recently, you're not imagining it. The delicious citrus fruit has gained serious popularity in the last few years - and if you haven't tried it yet, the time is now!

According to the official website for Sumo Citrus, the Sumo orange was first grown in Japan in the 1970s by a citrus farmer who wanted to combine the pleasant characteristics of two beloved fruits: the easy-to-peel Japanese mandarin and the juicy and sweet California orange. Nearly 30 years passed before the fruit was perfected, but finally the Sumo orange was born. This citrus favorite is so popular today that it's even admired in Japan and Korea, where it's popularly given to friends and family members as gifts.

So why are people rushing to buy these oranges now more than ever? It's because the sweet, juicy, easy-to-peel, seedless oranges are in season for a pretty short amount of time. More specifically, they're only available from January through April, making its window of purchase just a few months long.

Related: From Apples to Zucchini: Your Seasonal Produce Guide

Produce in Season
Produce in Season

Another thing that makes this fruit so attractive is how healthy it is. According to MyFitnessPal, a large Sumo orange has around 160 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, making it a great fruit to have on your plate for cold prevention.

Sumo oranges are available at most big-name grocery stores, such as Trader Joe's, Target, Kroger, Publix, and more. Try making them into popsicles or including them in an açai bowl recipe to mix things up!