The Many Joys of Pomelos

If pressed to chose a favorite fruit it would be a hard toss up between pomello (Citrus grandis [or maxima depending on who you ask]) and ugli fruit (Citrus reticulata x paradisi).  I never eat a ton of them because 1) they’re usually pretty expensive, 2) the season is not very long (late December – mid February at best) and 3) they’re not cheap, but they sure are tasty.  I’ll profile ugli fruit later, this post is all about the pomelo.  I love pomelos.  I love the color (that particular shade of yellow-green is one of my favorites), I love the taste, I love the smell, I love everything about them!

The first thing most people notice about them is the size.  It was what drew me to them initially.  I really wanted to know what the giant green soccer ball in the produce section was.  I was quite excited for such a massive fruit, so me being the nerd I was I went home and researched it first (I was young!  I didn’t have money to burn!  Ok…mostly I’m just a giant dork) and decided that it seemed intriguing enough to try.

About 50% of the fruit is pith and therefor not edible.  This particular fruit was $1.49 a pound and cost me $3.50 so you are kind of paying a lot for a fruit that is half inedible.  I haven’t actually bothered to weigh out the left over pith but it’s very light and spongy so I can’t imagine it makes up even close to half the weight of the fruit.

Now on to the good part!  The flavor of it is the real reason to buy it.  It’s like the smoothest grapefruit you’ll ever eat.  The flavor is extremely similar to a grapefruit only it lacks any hint of bitterness what so ever.   I really don’t know why this hasn’t been exploited as a juice fruit, it is so much better tasting (to me) than grapefruit juice is.  The fruits are really juicy too!  The 1/4 piece yeilded half a cup of juice just from the left over pieces I couldn’t cut out with my grapefruit spoon.

Another downside is that the membrane between the segments is really thick and not convenient to eat making it kind of a pain.  All said and done if someone bred a pomelo with less rind and thinner membranes I think this would be the best fruit everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (yes all those r’s are necessary).

And for a completely off topic picture, our guinea pig, Fred, seems to think he’s a turtle today.  He won’t leave his house, he just sticks his head out to get what ever food he wants.  I guess he might just be pretending Hungry Hungry Hippo

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7 thoughts on “The Many Joys of Pomelos

  1. Is it their expensive nature or their not cheap costs that are the bigger burden for you? Now I want one…

    Please do a series on strange fruit; I always want to buy odd produce but never know what they are.

    • I suppose I can do that. Do you have any requests? I’ve already done star fruit so don’t say that! I don’t buy a ton of them cuz they’re kind of a lot of work and yes they are a bit pricey (though the most recent one gave me 4 servings so really it was less than a dollar a serving).

  2. I agree with Chuck, a series on produce would be amazing. Include hints on how to pick the best one at the store, prepare them and best ways to enjoy the fruits… and germinate seed? I started a bunch of hardy kiwi one year but kind of lost interest and tossed them out, now I regret throwing them away :(

    • My friend Jill’s dad breeds hardy kiwi for fun, their back yard is kind of insane with all the different varieties.

      I was about to say wait… all that fruit business sounds more like a cooking blog than a plant blog but the seed part redeems you! That’s actually a really good idea. I’ve already done a post like that on star fruit…somewhere right by the start of the blog.

  3. Pingback: Ugli Fruit « Theatrum Botanicum

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