Sumo Mandarins are back!

by Keith Tsuchiyama, Produce Buyer


Sumo’s are Back! The highly anticipated Sumo Mandarins are in-season and back at Bristol Farms for a very short period of time. So what does this mean? Get them while you can…

What is a Sumo Mandarin?

  • Exclusive new citrus varietal, developed in Japan and now grown on family farms in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
  • Large mandarin with some orange parentage. Its unique characteristics include a large, distinct shape that’s easy to peel.
  • Naturally seedless, sweet and juicy—SUMOS are ‘enormously good to eat’.

SUMO CITRUS® is unique in that it is large, seedless, exceptionally juicy, very sweet and easy to peel. Its homely exterior bellies delicious individual sections bursting with delicate flavor.

The unique size, shape and look of SUMO CITRUS® distinguish it from other mandarins.

Its Asian origin makes it exotic, but since it is grown here in California, food safety and freshness are ensured at a fraction of the price that it costs in Japan.

Size & Appearance

  • Easy to identify with the unique shape, bumpy rind and knob on the top that we like to call the SUMO’s ‘top-knot.’
  • Handle with care – Don’t let the rough exterior fool you. While the fruit looks tough and indestructible on the outside, it is somewhat delicate.
  • Gently squeeze, if it “gives” a little, it means it’s at its optimum taste and ready
    to eat

Easy to Peel

  • One-piece peel – The SUMO’s ‘top-knot’ makes the fruit fun and easy to peel.
  • The bumpy and loose rind is characteristic of the variety and contributes to the easy peeling.
  • “Eat in the Car Test” — Unlike other citrus varieties, SUMO CITRUS® is ‘neat’ meaning no sticky mess, and hands stay dry.
  • SUMO CITRUS® has very little albedo or rag (the white part of citrus), allowing the fruit to section easily with less of the white “netting” sticking to the fruit.


  • Naturally sweet, healthy replacement for artificially sweetened candy and other high sugar snack foods.
  • Low acidity level, great for sensitive stomachs that have trouble with high acid levels in other citrus.
  • Good source of Vitamin C.  It is Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium free.
  • Contains Folate, Potassium and other vitamins and minerals
  • In addition, SUMO CITRUS® is a good source of Fiber.

Premium Quality

  • SUMO CITRUS® trees are hand pruned, and fruit is hand thinned to maintain optimum number of fruit, delivering the best possible flavor.
  • Picked and packed individually by hand, to avoid damage and ensure quality.
  • Tested for ripeness before harvest for optimum taste.
  • Grown and packed with the highest food safety standards.


  • Environmentally friendly, safe and “green” packaging
  • All packaging material is 100% recyclable
  • The Sumo Mandarin comes out of Lindsay, California just a short jaunt northeast of Bakersfield, where a co-op of farmers team up to bring you one of the best tasting, juiciest, most flavorful piece of citrus on the market today.

Meet one of our local growers…

Jonelle George

sumo mandarinsJonelle’s grove is just outside her home where she raised her family. For Jonelle, cultivating citrus trees is not unlike raising children. She is sensitive to their individual needs, constantly looks out for their welfare and takes pride in knowing every SUMO tree in her grove.
She personally oversees the work in the grove and pays particular attention when irrigating to ensure each tree receives the optimum amount of water. Jonelle has learned from growers in other countries that cultivate this unique variety. She employs the proper techniques of both hand pruning the trees and manually thinning the fruit in order to achieve the juiciest, most perfect tasting SUMO CITRUS®.

Sumos will only be with us for a short period of time. Judging by the explosion of popularity of these plump gems, we will be lucky to see April with them. Make sure you don’t miss the craze. Stop into your local Bristol Farms and get your Sumos today!

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