Last month we heard radios across the country blare out the classic tune “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. I think we were a little bit early on that. Because for any citrus lover out there, the most wonderful time of year is upon us. That’s right. It’s SUMO Citrus time. Time to get excited once again for the largest, sweetest, most flavorful mandarin eating experience you are going to have all year. Forget the Halos, put down the Cuties, and grab yourself some Sumos, maybe even a case or two.
The 2016 Sumo Crop
Before I get into where to buy them this year, I wanted to share with you some information on this year’s crop directly from the SUMO growers themselves. I talked with Guy Wollenman and he is very excited about this year’s crop. The harvest has come early and the flavor is outstanding. Guy said it was the best he has ever tasted, even at this early stage. He also said his other varieties of citrus he grows are tasting really well too. This season hasn’t come without it’s challenges. They have had some below freezing temperatures, so they have had long nights running wind machines to protect the fruit. Good news – no damage to the Sumos. In fact, he believes the cold weather has actually improved the eating quality of the fruit as well as helping keep the fruit on the trees longer which extends their marketing season. Good news indeed!
Want to learn about the amazing story on behind how Sumo Citrus got growing, read Sumo Citrus – From Tree To Your Hands, The Story of the Most Delicious Citrus Variety on Earth.
Where to Buy Sumo Mandarins in 2016
Here is a reminder to everyone. They aren’t going to arrive in every store at the same time. It takes time for them to be transported across the country. And since it’s winter time there is also a chance that a winter storm is going to slow the process down. So be patient. Just because you didn’t find them where you expected to yet, doesn’t mean they won’t get there.
Some other notes about this year’s list. On national scale the best place to look for Sumos is your local Whole Foods Market. They have really embraced it. The Fresh Market as well. Some Kroger and Safeway stores may carry them but only specific store, not chain wide. I have never seen them in a Kroger in Michigan before. If you live in the eastern part of the country, Wegman’s will probably be your best source for Sumos. Check with any of the smaller, specialized store and chains in your area.
If you want to buy them by the case I discovered H Mart is a great store for that. They are a wonderful Asian grocery chain with stores in California, Michigan (Troy), New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas. You can also request whole cases at Whole Foods Market and get a 10% case discount.
As I hear about them, I will list store locations in parentheses that have had confirmed Sumo sightings. If you find them at a store not in this list, let me in the comment section below and I will add it.
Grow – The Produce Shop
Whole Foods Market
Koreatown Plaza Market
Capitola Village Market
Andronico’s Community Markets
Zanotto’s Family Markets
Whole Foods Market
Safeway (select Northern California locations)
Berkeley Bowl Marketplace
Old McDonald’s Farmers Market
Dorothy Lane Market (Dayton, Ohio region)
Metropolitan Market (Seattle, Washington area)
Town & Country Markets (Seattle, Washington area)
Gourmet Garage (New York city)
Super 1 Foods (Idaho, Montana)
Baldor Specialty Foods (producer distributor from New York)
Lunds/Byerly’s (Twin Cities, Minnesota)
The Fresh Market
Foodland & Sack & Save Supermarkets (Hawaii)
Wegman’s Food Markets
Earthfare Market (locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee)
Roth’s Fresh Market (Oregon)
Fresh Direct (online service)
Zupan’s Markets (Portland, Oregon region)
Kroger (Select Locations)
Whole Foods Market
Brookshire’s (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas)
Brennan’s Country Farm Market – Wisconsin (Madison & Milwaukee areas)
Safeway (Select Locations)
Rouses (Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi)
Reasors (Tulsa, Oklahoma region)
West Side Markets (New York City)
Jungle Jim’s International Market (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Dan’s Fresh Supermarket (North Dakota)
H Mart (California, Michigan (Troy), New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illniois, and Texas.)
Fortinos (Ontario, Canada)