This fruit, used when green, is cultivated in Sukumo near Kochi. It is rare in Japan, even rarer elsewhere. It is considered a variant of the Sudachi but it is closer to a tangerine in size and matures later than a Sudachi. It is also sometimes called a sumikan or sour mandarin.
The southern Portuguese climate suits it perfectly because it requires a lot of sun. Let the naoshichi ripen in a cool dark place, but not cold for a few days.
The juice is interesting in ponzu or as a condiment. You can't say the flavour has a unique character like a Kabosu, but it is balanced. The sourness is not aggressive, the sweet aspect is discreet, the general tone is freshness and it has the ability to enhance flavours. Try it with shellfish, mussels, with raw vegetables: tomatoes, and in a sorbet, in sushi rice, or in a vinaigrette.
Fruit available September to end of October
We haven't tried extracting essential oil yet - we'll let you know