japanese art, design and culture
Spoon-Tamago

Creative mikan peeling

During our stay in Japan over the holidays we had the pleasure of dining on Japan’s favorite wintertime fruit, the mikan. In the States I’ve seen them referred to as satsuma oranges or mandarin oranges. And on a number of occasions I’ve been fooled by the variant clementine, which, by no means, is comparable to the sweet, juicy, thin-skinned and seedless original, which has quenched a many throat during the long and dry Tokyo winter.

Together with the kids we devoured a dozen a day. And when you peel 12 mikans a day, it’s only a matter of time, considering the natural progression of things, before people get tired of peeling mikans the same old way. This year a confluence of events, which may or may not have had anything to do with the publication of this book, caused a stir amongst the nation and suddenly it was all the rage to peel mikans in a creative fashion. You could not turn on the TV in the morning without seeing a talk show host sporting a mikan wristwatch.

Here are some examples:

The Wristwatch

The Flower

The Worm

The Globe

On a related note, how do you peel your mikan? From the top or from the bottom? I’ve always peeled mine from the bottom because I find it’s easier to get started. But did you know that by starting from the top your peeled mikan will be less pithy? That is to say, it will have significantly less pith (which is actually very healthy but some people prefer not to eat it).


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2 comments

1 elisabetha { 01.22.11 at 3:10 am }

i LOVE this post!!!!! how i miss those mikans. They simply don’t taste the same anywhere but in Japan…don’t believe those satsuma oranges and mandarins, they are imposters!!
ah, this made me so nostalgic that i dug up my own post about mikans: http://bamboosticks.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html
…i wonder if i can make a clementine watch? but it’s just not the same…

2 johnny { 01.24.11 at 9:10 am }

thanks for your comment elisabetha! my friend told me that http://cutiescitrus.com/ was the closest thing to a mikan. Apparently they carry them at costco.