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Pomelo and grapefruit! What’s the difference?

Grapefruit and pomelos are both citrus fruit, but that’s about where the similarity ends. Confusion arises because the names have been used interchangeably in the past. Pomelos are known by many other names including pampelmousse.

 

The pomelo is a separate species while the grapefruit is a hybrid resulting from crossing sweet orange (Citrus sinesis) with pomelo (Citrus maxima). In fact, the fruit differ in almost every way – shape, colour, size and taste. On the other hand, both fruit are rich in vitamin C and have a sweet to sweet-sour taste with a distinctly bitter note. The pomelo originated in Thailand and Malaysia and it’s also the biggest of all the citrus fruits, weighing up to 2 kg with a diameter of up to 30 cm. One of the best known sub-species is the honey pomelo from China which is large and, as the name suggests, sweeter. In shape pomelos are round or slightly pear-shaped. The skin texture can be smooth but sometimes it’s finely pitted. Their colour varies widely – yellowish green, pale yellow, orange – with oil cells that are visible as tiny green spots.

Grapefruit are smaller and round

Grapefruit, a natural hybrid between oranges and pomelos, were discovered in the early 18th century on the island of Barbados. As long as temperatures are high they will grow anywhere from near-desert conditions to tropical areas with high rainfall. The name comes from the fact that the fruit hang in bunches, like grapes, on the tree. Grapefruit generally weigh between 150 g and 450 g, making them lighter and smaller than pomelos. They’re round with smooth skins coloured bright yellow to reddish yellow. The flesh can be a beautiful rose pink or pale yellow.

Enjoying grapefruit and pomelos

Grapefruit is traditionally eaten at breakfast, but filleted segments are a delicious addition to fruit salads. Served at breakfast, grapefruit are halved, the segments loosened and simply spooned out. Pomelos by contrast need to be peeled and depending on the type this will be more or less difficult. Once peeled the white pith must be removed before the segments are separated and added to a fruit salad. If you like grapefruit and eat them or drink grapefruit juice frequently, you should tell your doctor before he prescribes medication, because the bitter substances can influence the effect of some drugs.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.bzfe.de