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Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Does anyone know what a dekopon is?  Isn't it a kid's game from Japan?  No, it's a brand of paint, right?  Wait, I think my uncle was diagnosed with dekopon a few years ago.

Actually, it's a fruit.  And by all accounts, it's pretty much the most delicious citrus fruit around.  It's a hybrid fruit developed in Japan in 1972 and has been celebrated by the people of that country ever since.  For the first time, it's available in this country--where it's been cultivated, in California.

The delectable fruit is large, seedless, has a peel that comes off easier than a Clementine and has a distinctive bump at the stem end.  The membranes dividing the sections are extremely thin, so there's nothing chewy about it.  It has virtually no pith (the bitter white part between the skin and sections in citrus fruits.

The flavor is the perfect balance of sweet and acid.  It's intensely "orange-y" and, according to some, the sugars coat the mouth like eating a piece of candy. 

Unfortunately, unless you live in Japan or California, we're not going to get dekopons at their best.  Like most fruits, storage, packaging and shipping cause damage to the texture and flavor of dekopons.  But from the way some people rave about them, it might be worth taking a trip!

For some more info, check out this article from the LA Times and this one from a blog called "Nichi Bei".

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