What Are Sumo Oranges? Meet the Tasty Citrus Fruit That's Having a Moment on TikTok

Get ‘em while you still can!

sumo oranges
Photo: Getty Images/Adobe Stock

If you've been on TikTok recently, you may have seen videos featuring a funny looking fruit called a Sumo orange or Sumo citrus. The fruit, which is only in season from January through April, has been going viral on social media for the past few weeks, and is especially popular on TikTok thanks to one clip of an enthusiastic Trader Joe's shopper.

In a TikTok posted earlier this month by a user who goes by the handle @elizabethanneventer, an eager TJ's customer is apparently seen persuading other Trader Joe's shoppers to stock up on the delicious citrus fruit. "Obsessed with this woman on line at the 72nd Street Trader Joe's convincing everyone else to buy Sumo oranges too," text over the clip reads. The viral TikTok, which has been viewed more than 6.3 million times, also includes close-ups of other customers' baskets and shopping carts with several oranges inside, indicating that this devoted Sumo fan was successful.

So what makes Sumo oranges so special? While they look and taste like traditional orange varieties, there are subtle differences that set them apart. For starters, Sumos originated in Japan in the 1970s, and earned the nickname "dekopon" thanks to the signature "top knot" that's on the top of each piece of fruit. Now, Sumos, which are a bit larger than standard oranges, are grown domestically in California. You can find them at grocery chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Wegmans, and Gristedes.

From a taste perspective, Sumos boast an incredible sweetness and refreshing acidity, as well as a smooth texture you don't necessarily get with other oranges and citrus fruits. As someone who has enjoyed many Sumos, I can also attest to the fact that they are seedless and have minimal pith. Additionally, Sumos are easy to peel (I often peel mine in one go) and aren't messy to eat, making them a great on-the-go snack.

And TikTokers agree. "Can we talk about how Sumo oranges are, like, the most delicious piece of fruit on the planet?," user @ohthatjenny said in a clip. "They're so sweet and delicious. You have to try it."

How to Cook With Sumo Oranges

When it comes to cooking with Sumo oranges, you can treat them as you would other fresh citrus fruits, which means you can bake with them, drizzle Sumo segments with chocolate, or toss some Sumo pieces into a salad. The sweetness works well with bitter lettuce, such as arugula, and also pairs well with a creamy cheese, like burrata or goat cheese.

Other social media users have added Sumo segments to a bowl of yogurt and granola, whipped up a Sumo smoothie, and made Sumo simple syrup, which can be used to top pancakes or waffles, and also works well in a cocktail or other refreshing beverage. If you're eager to give Sumo oranges a try, you better act quickly! The season is only expected to last for about another two weeks.

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