Every year at about this time we see these huge citrusy things showing up on the fruit stands. Some of them have wrappers with the word grapefruit on it, and I’ve never really been interested in trying them. Not a big grapefruit fan.
But a few weeks ago I was sick, and the students Ryan had dinner with insisted on buying me some fruit to help me get better. They bought some apples, oranges and one of these giant things. Never one to waste food we opened it up.
Turns out we were totally mistaken and it wasn’t a grapefruit at all. It was a Pomelo. A Pomelo is actually grapefruits sweeter daddy. (A grapefruit is a cross breed between an orange and a pomelo.) It’s the largest citrus fruit out there and it has a yellow peel and sweet beigish/pinkish fruit.
Originating from Asia, Chinese people have been eating pomelos for thousands of years. But I will say, the thing is a pain in the ass. Unlike its simpler, easier cousin the Clementine, Pomelos require a knife, long fingernails and some muscle. The peel is soft, but thick, crazy thick, and takes a lot of pulling and grunting to get it off. Then, you have to peel off the pith, or whatever the (bitter tasting) membrane thing around the fruit is called, to get to the sweet fruit inside. It makes a mess, but it is totally worth it.
The fruit is sweet, and so big it is almost meaty. Because you have to peel it out of the whiter outer skin, you almost grab it in hunks. It has a strange texture, like little fruit flavor worms, slippery and sweet.
It also has a ton of benefits, including high levels of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. The rind contains a high level of bioflavonoids, which is said to help prevent cancer, and if you are interested in eating the rind, I would suggest candyfying it first (you can find a very detailed recipe here.)
Like most citrus the pomelo will disappear around Christmas, so if your interested in checking it out (and you should be) head on out to your store now to see if you can get this big, bad, Asian citrus fruit.