Acid to sugar ratios on winner varieties

PersianMD2OrchardJanuary 22, 2014

Hi guys,

I'm looking to expand the citrus collection maybe this coming season. I was wondering if the people that have tasted a lot of citrus varieties could rank them in whatever way they think makes sense in terms of the acidity to sugar spectrum.

Lots of the winners for flavor I have read about (seedless kishu, page mandarin, depokon, ponkan, golden nugget, xie shan satsuma, dancy tangerine...) I'm not sure where the acidity/sweetness ratio level lies at all as some citrus do seem to be more towards sweet (I think satsumas and kishu) then still towards sweet but a tiny bit more acid Dancy--am I right? Then Minneola more acid... Not sure who's in between??

In my head starting with most acid to most sweet is:
lemon/lime/sour orange/etc, then some grapefruit, then some oranges,

then all these medium sized tangerine/mandarin/clementine/satsuma/tangelos/minneolas/depokon/hybrids guys that are the ones I'm perplexed about as they seem to vary,

and then acidless sweet lime

Is there a good source for learning about citrus flavor of these popular ones I'm confused on?

In general, I actually like a good balance of tart with the sweet so I may like more towards the acid ones of these if there are some. I feel like some of the big flavor winners reviewed may be the sweeter ones? I enjoy those as well but want them paired up with at least one or two flavor winners that have a good tart balance with the sweetness. This would be for container growing indoors during winter times and outside in zone 7a rest of year near Wash DC.

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If I had to pick two I would pick the minneola and I won't lie I am pro minneola this is my favorite the right amount of acid and sweet a little more acid then sweet. Then next I would pick any of the blood oranges complex flavor sweet and acid again I would say a little more acid then sweet. Have you ever tried kumquats another more acid then sweet.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:04PM
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Yea I agree with those. I've actually sampled about half of the stuff I listed but small sample size so not sure whether to trust it you know? I agree minneola, moro blood orange, kumquats are a lil more on the tart side.

I'm still unsure about the acid:sugar of these:

sweeter side?
seedless kishu, xie shan and all other satsumas, and ever so slightly maybe more acid but not much: dancy tangerine

page mandarin, depokon, ponkan, golden nugget, clemenules

I also wonder what the top 5 or so most juicy ones are amongst the taste winners for people...

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:42AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

One of the best sources for looking at acid to sugar ratios at given times during the season is the UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection web site. Frankly, I don't get too "into the weeds" over that, I base my preferences on what tastes good to my palette. I prefer citrus on the sweeter side, so I'll give you my opinions on the above as I can:

Seedless Kishu - very sweet, just enough acid to be interesting for me. May be too sweet for others who prefer their citrus more "sprightly".

Page mandarin - more complex, almost as sweet, exceptional flavor, makes outstanding juice that isn't acidic in the least, but the right amount to keep it interesting and not moving into the "insipid" category. Sweeter and less acidic than Minneola.

Gold Nugget - about the same ratio I would say as Seedless Kishu and quite excellent. Maybe a wee bit more acidic, but may vary from season to season depending on heat, water, fertilizer, etc. A hair-splitter.

Clemenules - deliciously sweet, like the Seedless Kishu.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Patty thanks so much. I was hoping you would chime in. It sounds like the these winners are a bit more towards the sweet side which is great and I pretty much want them all. I would like to find a couple winners more on the acid side too to fill that niche for my palette--I guess maybe Dancy and Minneola--although I was looking for something not quite as acid as Minneola but not as acidless as satsuma if that makes sense--something in between. I bet most of em I can play with picking time.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:06AM
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Acid to sugar ratio can vary greatly from year to year in a single variety, depending on weather here in Texas. This past year we had the latest spring combined with an early winter, & the 5th coldest. The Pacific climates may be a little more moderate.

The repeated freezes and an unfinished very difficult root canal have kept me from responding earlier. But I would suggest looking at the Clemintine X Orlando tangelo hybrids. The acidity comes from the grapefruit in the tangelo's genetics. These are almost the same as Page because they are tangerine X tangelo hybrids (tantans). Another one is Fortune, a Clem X Dancy that every few years makes outstanding fruit.

Clem X Orlandos in decreasing acidity (approximately): Bell, Nova, Lee, Sunburst, Fairchild, F-6-9-10, Bower.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 11:17AM
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