Monthly Archives: March 2011

Dekopon (Sumo Tangerine)

I heard about this fruit on a Good Food podcast recently, and then I happened to stumble across one at Whole Foods after work the other day (I was actually only looking for pie, so it was a pleasant surprise).

There is a really fascinating article here about the fruit, but here’s a quick summary: Dekopon is a tangerine variety from Japan that has been incredibly popular there since the early 90s I think. It was so popular it could cost up to $10 per fruit. However, it was illegal to import because of possible exotic diseases, etc. But, someone did managed to smuggle in some branches to graft new trees from.

After that, there’s a lot of secret groves and corporate espionage sounding stuff. The article I linked to even contains the quote “I’m not happy that you found out about the Dekopon … Some heavy hitters I work with are interested in it”. And, if that doesn’t sound like Chinatown but with fruit instead of water to you, you’re totally nuts.

Finally, the fruit is available here in California this year (sold under the name Sumo Tangerine rather than Dekopon). So, after hearing all that craziness on the radio, I really had no choice but to buy one when I happened across it. And, it was delicious. It tastes like one of the best mandarin oranges you’ve ever had, but it’s the size of a navel orange. It’s seedless, really sweet, and really juicy. I have to say though that I also bought some Murcott tangerines that I might have even liked a little bit more. All in all, the citrus varieties available this time of year in Southern California are amazing, and you should definitely look into it.


Favorite Corn Muffins

I made this recipe over a month ago.. needless to say, I’ve gotten a bit behind on blogging. I also either haven’t been doing much really interesting cooking or I’ve just forgotten to take photos of it. But, these corn muffins are amazing. It’s definitely the best cornbread recipe I’ve ever used, and I highly recommend it. The name of the recipe (Peerless Corn Muffins) seems a little sure of itself, but it turns out to be accurate.

Peerless Corn Muffins
from The Breakfast Book, by Marion Cunningham

1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk, warmed
1 cup cake flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Grease muffin tins.

Beat or whisk egg, melted butter, and oil in a mixing bowl until well blended. Stir in warm milk. Combine cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar in another bowl and stir with a fork until well mixed. Add dry ingredients and stir until blended. This is a light, medium-thick batter.

Spoon batter into muffin tins so each cup is three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins are slightly golden and a straw comes out clean when inserted into the center. Remove from tins and cool a little on racks, or simply serve in a basket, hot from the oven.