Sumo Citrus®

The original importation, brought in by Sunkist Japan for Stark Bros. in 1998; control passed to a group led by Suntreat, which was bought by Agricultural Capital; they also own the registered trademark for Sumo Citrus®.


Man, I love eating those. They taste great.

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A well ripened sumo is the best citrus I am able to buy at the store here. Perhaps some other backyard grown citrus is better but personally I’ve never tasted anything better than Sumo/Shiranui.


Do you have any tricks to get well-ripened ones? I assume the ones I got fro QFC/Kroger last year were not ripe, since the sugar acid balance heavily leaned sour to my taste.

I don’t buy before late January. The early season ones are no good.


Same here. I’ve had many citrus grown by knowledgeable and experienced local backyard growers and none tasted better than store-bought Sumo. In fact, if I limit citrus to only oranges, I can say the same about CaraCara. It’s hard to beat these varieties grown in perfect conditions. I read somewhere that farmers store Sumo after harvest for sometime to improve the sugar/acid balance.

The Clemenules I grew this year were quite close, so I’m hoping my home grown Sumo next year would be as good. Let’s see


Like the Fuji Apple, Shiranui was bred for shipping to markets. In my opinion they are both insipid straight off the tree.

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Store bought Fuji is miles behind many home grown apple varieties. In fact, I like Opal and Cosmic Crisp better than Fuji from the store. Although, you are right about my variety preference - I do rate home-grown Fuji from a local gardener close to the best apples from the Santa Cruz apple tasting event.

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I wasn’t comparing Fuji to other apples. Instead I was commenting on the breeding process, which took place in 1938.

Also, I believe you misread the word insipid.

I got that. I was merely commenting on the relative success of that breeding between the two varieties from store bought fruit. Fuji is pretty mediocre from the store while Sumo is excellent. Given that I like Fuji right off the tree, it could be storage or early harvest or other processing that makes it much worse when it hits the stores.

I understood it to be lacking in flavor for you or just too sweet in this context. For my taste, I like their flavor (when Fuji is home grown). Probably because of my sweet tooth :slight_smile:

Yes, that is what I read. When they store it for about 30 days before selling them. The acid goes away after fruit is picked and stored so it becomes much more sweeter tasting. These fruits are not insipid when picked off the tree. It is usually mildly sweet but with a lot more acidic taste. If you wait until Feb-March that is the best time to pick the fruits. After March in my location (SoCal) the fruit does start to dry up and with not have much flavor. Since I prefer my citrus fruits with sweetness and a little acid/tart taste I pick all my sumo fruits by mid-Feb.

VANIGLIA SANGUIGNO ACIDLESS SWEET ORANGE (VI-442) is considered insipid. My fruits now after 10 yrs is tasting better and it has a sweet with a little acidic taste so I’m keeping the tree since the fruits ripens in November.


A lot of good advice here, that is what I experienced with mine. My trees are all written down with the best time to pick. So, I just go by those dates, easy.
You could also squeeze the sides, too much give, will be dry. No good.

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Do you know the storage conditions to ripen Sumo? Is that better than leaving them on the tree another 30 days?

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Bob, I agree with you about giving the fruit a squeeze test. I do the exact same thing on all my citrus fruits when I check for ripeness, also one other thing you can do is to lightly try to weigh the fruit in the palm of your hand (lift fruit up while hanging). After enough experience with the squeeze & left method, I can get most of the fruit picked when they are ripe and delicious. I also like your idea of writing down the dates of when the fruits (varieous varieties) are ripe in your location so next season just follow those dates. I have started doing the same since last year, pretty consistent on dates of ripeness. I have so many different varieties of citrus that it makes sense to document the"ripe pick dates" since each variety has different times for best taste.


That’s a good question, I don’t know the answer. I did read that the storage method was some trade secret of the fruit growers. There was an LA Times article (by DAVID KARP) in 2011 that mentioned the storing of the fruits after picking. Here’s the link to that article which describes how the Dekopon/Shiranui/Sumo came to CA.

The Dekopon arrives in California - Los Angeles Times (


I hadn’t ever seen it referred to by Dekopon. It was always “Sumo Mandarain”. But, just in the last week I’ve seen it that way at whole foods:

From Dekopon’s wikipedia:

After harvesting, dekopon are usually left for a period of 20–40 days so that the levels of citric acid in the fruit decrease, while the sugar levels increase to make a more appealing taste to market. Only products with sugar level above 13°Bx and citric acid below 1.0% can be sold with the name dekopon.

I tested one that I bought and it was 14 brix, so it met the standard. I also tested a Cara Cara and it was only 11 brix, even though it was decent.

No indication about the storage conditions, though I assume cold storage. I think 20-40 days at room temp would leave it in bad shape.


Bob, from the old posts in other forums I have read on the storage of the fruit, it seems you should store the fruits in room temperature, like in the garage is what one member did. Then the acid level will decrease and give the sweeter (sugar/acid ratio) taste. But the same member who did this experiment to store the fruit in his garage said he also let some fruits hang as long as March and it was the best tasting. With the 30 day storing in garage his brix was 15. If you wait until end of March (SoCal) then his sumo brix of his fruits went up to 17-21. So it seems the best thing to do is just let the fruit hang longer on the tree. I prefer to have the fruits with a little acid taste so I eat them no later than mid-Feburary.


SC, having so may varieties you have it makes it more difficult. It’s like an large orchard with only one or two varieties to deal with, they usely pick large quantities at certain times, than second pick, than third pick than they are done.
The Greening disease sure mess up citrus forums. It’s hard to stay with several forums so I desided just to stay with just one. I have so many forum friends everywhere.

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I stored some of my satsumas in my fridge and they were the best tasting too. Now I put them in my pantry.

The citrus forums are why we have ACP and Greening disease in CA.