Juicy, delicious and nutitious

Louisiana satsumas pack in more tasty vitamins than your average orange and other citrus fruits

Heather R. Breaux
November 28, 2007 at 12:36 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

SWEET SATSUMAS. Buddy Gravier holds a basket of sweet and juicy satsumas picked fresh from the grove of Terry and Jose’ Authement.
Photo by Ann Taylor
SWEET SATSUMAS. Buddy Gravier holds a basket of sweet and juicy satsumas picked fresh from the grove of Terry and Jose’ Authement.
The Louisiana satsuma was imported from Japan in the early 1800s and was immediately adapted by the populace with it’s easily separated sections of sweet, brilliant orange fruit and easy to peel, mottled green and yellow skin - and local sellers say that they are still in high demand.

“People pull in and stop by my fruit stand all day long looking to purchase satsumas,” says Julius Workman, who has sold fruits and vegetables at his Highway 90 stand for nearly 15 years.

“Satsumas are the earliest citrus crop of the season and the people sure seem to love them,” said Workman.

“They don’t buy just one or two - they buy them by the sack.”

But there’s more to this unique citrus fruit than it’s juicy and delicious taste - satsuma mandarins are also one of the healthiest citrus varieties grown in Louisiana.

According to the National Nutrition Bureau, one satsuma packs only 50 calories, 0 fat and provides 110 percent of the daily-recommended dose of vitamin C.

“Vitamin C is a highly-effective antioxidant and provides the human body with the necessary enzymes for blood flow,” said Keilee Baker, nutrition and health researcher for the NNB.

And since 15 Louisiana parishes, including St. Charles Parish, are home to hundreds of satsuma groves, finding a juicy, delicious and nutritious satsuma shouldn’t be a hard task to complete.

“These mandarins make excellent snacks for kids and adults,” said Workman.

“Trust me, you can’t go wrong with them. No one should be disappointed to open their lunch box and find a tasty satsuma in there.”

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita plowed through many of the state’s southeastern satsuma groves, parishes like Terrebonne and Lafourche thrived last year in citrus production and harvested an excellent crop.

And according to LSU AgCenter facts and figures, these parishes along with others who have recovered since the 2005 storms should have a successful season.

Louisiana farmers also produce navel oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and kumquats - and citrus production is a $6 million industry involving local growers like Julius Workman.

When asked what tips he would offer to consumers who purchase satsumas Workman says, “Don’t let the color of the skin be the determining factor. Even skins with a light green color can hide a ripe fruit.”


Questions? Comments? Story Ideas? Email Lifestyles Editor Heather R. Breaux at heatherb@heraldguide.com or call the Herald-Guide offices at 985-758-2795.

View other articles written Heather R. Breaux

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