Supermarket giant Tesco is hoping to tempt shoppers with a giant version of a satsuma.
The fruit is a new ‘citrus hybrid’ that has been previously sold only in Japan.
Tesco citrus fruit buyer Martin De La Fuente said:‘…the fun really starts when people see how extremely easy they are to peel, yet also have the juiciness of an orange.
‘Although they’re officially called giant satsumas they’re also sometimes referred to in Japan as easy-peel oranges. We’ve decided to call them giant satsumas because the fruit is in danger of becoming obsolete as world demand is seriously dropping.’
Satsuma production has dropped dramatically in the last ten years and there are now less than a third of the orchards there were in 1994.
Giant satsumas are grown in Japan and South Africa, and were first grown in 1979 by a Japanese farmer who crossed a satsuma with an orange variety called Trovita.
Tesco has already sold giant strawberries, avocados, mangoes and pineapples.
Mr De La Fuente says of the new satsumas: ‘We think they’ll be very popular as there is a growing demand for giant versions of traditional fruit in Britain. They are also the only satsumas available right now in the UK as the traditional season for the regular-sized version doesn’t start until autumn.’