You’ve probably heard of tangerines but what about the Satsuma? This citrus fruit is quite similar to a tangerine but is actually a different species. The Chinese fruit is one of the many orange-like fruits available at grocery stores and farmers markets. It’s closely related to the tangerine but it’s worth noting that it’s still a completely different fruit. In fact, before picking one or the other it’s important to know the main similarities and differences of the two fruits so you can pick the “right” one in different situations. Most of us are more familiar with the tangerine but the satsuma is certainly worth learning about.
Why should you consider trying out the Satsuma fruit? It’s become quite famous for its sweet taste and tender texture. When doing a side-by-side comparison you’ll likely discover it’s a fruit you should definitely consider trying out.
Fun Fact: Only three original citrus fruits exist including the Mandarin orange. If you want to try a completely new type of fruit then you should consider others besides basic orange and lemon. In fact, you also have many cooking options with this fruit since it’s juicy with a bright flavor. Besides adding it to chicken and seafood you can also enjoy the tangerine’s cousin as it is.
What Is a Satsuma?
Let’s start with the basics of this citrus fruit. This fruit originated from a former Japanese province. The fruit dates back to at least nearly six centuries ago in 1429. It’s a popular fruit used for different applications. For example, it’s a good option for savory dishes like chicken and fish, smoothies, and cocktails.
The fruit is also quite popular as a stocking-stuffer during Christmas. That’s greatly due to the benefits of eating this fruit fresh. The loose peel makes it easy to remove so you won’t have to spend lots of time with the process. The fruit is also quite sweet and juicy so it’s a good option for healthy snacks. The citrus fruit also has few seeds so you won’t have to spend lots of time removing them from the satsuma.
The fruit can be used in a wide range of different recipes. They vary from cakes to cheesecakes, and from smoothies to cocktails. If you browse the web you can discover several dishes like orange chicken that pair the sweet citrus fruit with other ingredients.
Salads are another popular way to use this sweet citrus. For example, you can add it to a spinach salad with bacon. Besides topping the salads with wedges, you can even add some juice to the dressing for a sweet/citrus flavor that can help add some zest to just about any vegetable salad.
The best time to purchase these citrus fruits is in December. This makes them a great option for the holiday season. Due to the spike in demand during December it’s important to place your orders early enough to make sure you’ll have the citrus fruits for December.
Make sure to store the fruits at cool room temperatures for a maximum of one week. If you refrigerate the fruits then they’ll stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
Satsuma vs Tangerine
While the Satsuma fruit is often mistaken for a tangerine, they’re different fruit species. Let’s talk about the similarities and differences between these two different citrus fruits.
1. Classification ad Names
These two citrus fruits are classified differently. For example, tangerines are in the Mandarin group of mandarins. Meanwhile, satsumas are in the mandarin group with the same name. You can find several varieties of each type of fruits including 200+ types of satsumas.
The ways the two citrus fruits got to the United States is also different. Satsumas first arrived in the US from the Japanese province with the same name. Meanwhile, the tangerine was introduced to the US through the North African seaport known as Tangiers.
While the two types of mandarins have a similar appearance, they’re somewhat different. That’s because satsumas have a size and look that’s similar to clementines but are usually a bit smaller than tangerines.
Both fruits have skin that looks bumpy but the texture of tangerine’s skin feels a little smoother. One thing to keep in mind is satsumas mature very quickly in the fall and sometimes can be eaten even when they’re green.
The satsuma’s flavor is quite sweet and milder than tangerines. This is maybe due to the fruit having a lower acidity level. Adults tend to enjoy the tangy/acidic flavor of tangerines better.
Satsumas have something called a “zipper skin” since it only takes a few pulls to remove the skin. Meanwhile, tangerines usually have a skin that’s thinner/tighter so it can be tougher to peel. One fact to consider is both of these fruits a still easier to remove than orange peels.
The satsuma is almost seedless and usually has an average of 1-2 seeds per fruit. Tangerines have a much higher average seed count that is sometimes 30+.
Benefits of Satsuma
Here are some of the main benefits of satsumas:
It’s important to boost your body’s level of ‘good” cholesterol and duce the amount of “bad” cholesterol it has. This fruit is able to do that due to the high amounts of antioxidants, which help to keep away illness and disease.
2. Plasma Pressure
If you want to control your blood pressure better then you should consider this fruit. That’s due to the high potassium levels that help control blood pressure levels. So, if you suffer from high blood pressure try eating some satsumas.
This citrus fruit is a good option for diabetes patients. That’s because the fruit converts sugar into fat. The tropical fruit is also effective at helping to control blood sugar levels throughout the body.
It’s quite easy to eat this citrus fruit for various reasons. In particular, it’s easy to peel and has an average of 1.5 seeds. This is a plus over the tight peels of oranges and many seeds of tangerines.
We usually don’t think of fruits as having fiber when we can’t even eat the skins. This citrus fruit is quite high in fiber. This helps you feel fuller and helps prevent you from feeling the need to keep snacking all day.
One of the benefits of high-fiber foods is they help your digestion system to work better. It also has properties that help you digest food naturally and better.
The fruit has substances that have been proven to lower the chance of various types of cancer like breast and liver.
Citrus fruits are high in water so this is a good option for hydrating your body. It’s a good option during the day when you not only want to (literally) juice up but also adds water. In fact, you can often get some of your daily water from foods like a satsuma.