The grapefruit, new on the citrus scene, is known for its sour-sweet tang.
A popular citrus
fruit, the grapefruit is
larger than an orange
. The colors of the
fruit include white, ruby/red and pink. The red and pink grapefruits
are known for the simultaneously sour-and-sweet tang of their juice and
The grapefruit is the baby of the citrus world, having been around for
less than 300 years. Almost certainly descended from the Malaysian and
Indonesian pummelo, the grapefruit may be the deliberate child of
hybridization or may be a horticultural fluke emerging from eighteenth
century Jamaica, where the English Captain Shaddock took seeds of the
pummelo in 1693.
grapefruit found few fans amongst Jamaicans who disliked its
bitterness, nor did it gain immediate acclaim amongst Americans when it
was brought to the U.S. in 1823. A grapefruit market began to emerge
from Florida in the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until the stock market
crash of 1929 that they became widespread across the nation.
Grapefruits could be purchased for free with food stamps, and thus
destitute families were introduced to the fruit, at first confused over
whether to cook it or eat it raw.
Grapefruits come in both a seeded and seedless variety and also vary in
flesh color: white grapefruits have a yellowish flesh and pink
grapefruit ranges from pink to ruby-red flesh.
Though inferior in taste and nutritional value, canned grapefruit is also available for purchase.
When grapefruit shopping, look for bright colors and firm, unbruised skin. The heavier, the juicier.
Grapefruits make a lovely counter decoration and can last for days at
room temperature. If looking to keep the fruits fresh longer—up to two
weeks—keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Grapefruit halves are a popular breakfast food. Slice the
fruit across the center and use a spoon to remove the triangular fleshy
segments. “Grapefruit knives” are available to slice through the
membranes and make the job easier, though the membranes can also be cut
with an ordinary kitchen knife. Watch out—grapefruits love to squirt as
you dig into them. Peeling:
a knife to remove the peel from each end of the grapefruit, then slice
the peel away while standing the fruit upright, trying to avoid slicing
Grapefruits, like other citrus fruits, are also
popular for their juice and tangy zest
. When using the fruit for both,
zest the grapefruit prior to juicing it. Juicing Tips:
• Roll the grapefruit under your palm on a hard surface to soften it before juicing.
• A variety of fruit-juicing tools are available for purchase
• A room-temperature or warmer grapefruit will yield more juice, so be sure to let the fruit sit unrefrigerated before juicing.
If you only need a bit of juice at one time, make a toothpick-hole in
the skin through which to extract juice, and then leave the toothpick
in the hole to “seal” it and maintain freshness. Zesting:
• Zest can be obtained with a sharp paring knife, a vegetable peeler, a cheese grater, or a specially-purchased zesting gadget.