Review: Sumo Oranges

I am fortunate to shop at Wegmans, a grocery store which makes the chore of shopping a real joy. Wegmans is one of my favorite places in the world, and the words “cult following” seem to describe the store often. I know some of the uninitiated my friends like to mock my passion for Wegmans, but I don’t care. I have hard evidence to back me up: Consumer Reports named it the best grocery store in the country (out of 50) and it has been on the Forbes “Best Places to Work” list every year since 1998. The quality of the food is second to none, the prices are not usually unreasonable, but the real wow factor for me is the selection. I always find something new or different there. Like today, for example.

Have you heard of the Japanese Sumo orange? Until I stepped into Wegmans, I had not. I was immediately intrigued by its giant size, unique shape and weird name. But at $2.50 per orange, I had my reservations. What sane person spends $2.50 for one single orange? Hello.

This truly was the best orange I’ve ever eaten in my life. It has the perfect texture, the perfect sweetness, and the perfect amount of juiciness. It’s easy to peel and not the least bit messy. The Japanese took over thirty years to develop this orange, a seedless tangerine-orange hybrid, and it was worth the wait. They are now grown in California, in the San Joaquin Valley, and available in the US from February until May. If you’re lucky enough to come across one, you should try it. I only wish I bought more!


Wegmans Red Quinoa Avocado Salad

I love quinoa. It’s fun to eat, and it’s fun to say. (And just in case you’re unsure, it’s pronounced KEEN-wah). Quinoa, quinoa, quinoa! Quinoa is one amazing little grain. Technically it’s a chenopod. One important thing to know about quinoa, aside from its deliciousness and versatility, is that it’s very healthy and a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Another important thing to know is that you shouldn’t eat all ten servings of this by yourself, even if you want to. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Wegmans is my grocery store of choice. This recipe first appeared in the Wegmans Winter 2011 Menu magazine, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Not only is it healthy and delicious, it’s also beautiful (or “aesthetically pleasing,” as our friends at Project Runway would say). It is the perfect summer salad and quite the crowd pleaser.

I feel the same way about salad dressing as I do about frosting: Always make your own! It’s super easy and so much healthier. So while you can certainly buy the Wegmans brand lemon vinaigrette, I am also including my own lemon vinaigrette recipe below for you to try.


1 pkg (7 oz) Red Quinoa, cooked per pkg directions, chilled
1 pkg (12 oz) Frozen Super-Sweet Corn, thawed
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced on the bias (I used a red onion since it’s all I had on hand)
2 plum tomatoes, 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup). Ed likes extra tomatoes.
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, cubed small
1/2 cup Food You Feel Good About Lemon Vinaigrette
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Add cooked quinoa, corn, cilantro, green onions, and tomatoes to mixing bowl. Fold in avocados and dressing; mix until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper; serve.


Dawn’s Lemon Vinaigrette

Whisk together:
Juice of one large lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. maple syrup