They smelled lovely – an aromatic blend of lemon and grapefruit – so I couldn’t understand why many people were so keen on giving away as many as possible. I ended up with about three jumbo pieces before I started turning away donations.
When I got home, I eagerly cut into my new treasures. Almost immediately I could see why nobody wanted anything to do with these yellow bastards; they are quite possibly the worst citrus ever, with absolutely no redeeming qualities. Dozens of deeply embedded seeds make the fruit difficult to eat like a grapefruit. It doesn’t produce a lot of juice – in fact, I could hardly squeeze a drop without physically digging through the pulp with my fingernails. The pith was thick and fused to the pulp, which itself failed to live up to its smell: my first bite delivered nothing but a punchless lemon flavor dotted by the bitterness of the pith that still clung on for dear life.
A coworker told me the name, but I forgot it. Maybe there are some connoisseurs of incorrigible citrus out there who know? Either way, you’re better off sticking with one of the dozens of other Japanese citrus fruits, like the beloved winter mikan – sadly on its way out of season now.