Satsumas Are Making a Comeback

Experts are helping one fruit make a comeback in Alabama.

They taste similar to an orange and are easy to peel like a cutie.

"I'm a little biased but they are the best citrus they are sweet flavorful kids treat them like candy," said Jay Spiers, assistant professor at Auburn University.

But most people don't know about satsumas.

"When clementines and cuties come on the market they typical forget about satsumas," said Spiers. "Satsumas are easy to peel, they are often called the kid glove citrus and they are nearly seedless they segment real easy you can pull them apart real easy."

Some satsumas may look under-ripe, but experts say they don't have to be orange for you to enjoy.

"The peel color development doesn't come until later," said Spiers.

Satsumas have had a rocky history in the state.

"Alabama has a long history of satsuma production and now we are trying to bring that back, we used to have multimillion dollar industy back in the 40's but it got devastated by freezes," said Spiers.

The Wiregrass' climate may be the perfect fit for the citrus.

"They are growing well and producing fruit and that's the good news but the bad news is we haven't really seen real cold temperatures so that's the test but I think we are going to be okay with what we are facing," said Larry Wells, director of the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center.

The biggest concern with the satsuma is how to market it.

October is a little early for satsumas to be ready.

They're usually ripe around Thanksgiving.


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