Regier Farms (Wednesday in Santa Monica, Saturday in Pasadena) is in the second week of its seedless, easy-to-peel Satsuma mandarin crop. Grower Troy Regier says itâ€™s â€œlooking like itâ€™s going to be a good season.â€ Early fruit tends not to have a lot of sugar or bright color, but this fruit is already quite sweet, which can only get better as we get into winter. The bit of green on the skin that you see on early pickings will be gone in a couple weeks, and December fruit should be glorious.
Regierâ€™s Satsumas are $3 per pound (down 50 cents from last year), but if you buy by the adorable citrus box shown here, the price drops to $21 for a 10-pound box and $35 for a 24-pound box. Tangerines (mandarins) are a traditional holiday gift. These days, a gift of citrus makes more sense than ever â€” nutritious, delicious, local and packed with Vitamin C. Early-season fruit can last two weeks on the counter â€“that is, if you pace yourself.