When it’s Thanksgiving time in Fairhope, and actually all along the Gulf Coast, it means Satsuma season is finally here. Our favorite local fruit is in the Mandarin orange family, along with the more familiar Tangerines and Clementines.
The Satsumas in these photos were picked by my Dad from his trees in Fort Walton Beach. He has several trees of Satsumas and also different varieties of grapefruit, lemons, limes and kumquats. No chance of scurvy in our family.
Satsumas are the only citrus I really like eating. They’re easier to peel than any other type of orange, sweeter, and just the right size. Another benefit? They grow on just about every corner, front yard, back yard and side yard in town.
I actually would love it if public spaces would plant satsumas. You can walk down the streets in Sorrento Italy and pick lemons hanging above your head. Wouldn’t it be great to do the same thing with Satsumas?
Fairhope Intermediate School planted Satsuma trees years ago, and the children would pick them to sell at snack time for 25 cents each. Healthy snacks, entrepreneur fund-raising skills, horticulture skills . . . and then they moved the school. I think students from the new location still walk over to the old place to pick the fruit. At least I hope they do.
In the great American tradition of taking perfectly good fruit and covering it with refined sugar, here’s my recipe for Satsuma-Cranberry sauce I always make for Thanksgiving. It’s basically an orange-cranberry sauce, but I think Satsumas are a tiny bit sweeter and don’t have that sharp taste oranges sometimes have, so you can adjust the sugar as needed. (I added a smidgen more).
1 cup of satsuma juice
zest of one satsuma
2 – 12oz bags of cranberries (6 cups)
1 and 1/2 cup of packed dk. brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium – low heat and stir occasionally for approximately 15 minutes until thick.
Serve with turkey and dressing and enjoy!
This recipe cooked down to almost a quart. Mmm. Tangy Satsuma goodness!
Do you like Cranberry sauce?