Have you ever tried a honey pomelo? This large citrus fruit can be found in the produce section from late fall to early spring. Here’s more about this tasty unique citrus fruit.
What Is It?
It is a type of citrus fruit native to South and SouthEast Asia. It’s the biggest of all citrus fruit weighing between 2-4 pounds (1-2 kg). Here it is in comparison to a tangelo. The skin of the pomelo is smooth like a grapefruit, but the fruit itself is quite a bit larger. Botanists believe that the grapefruit is actually a cross between a pomelo and an orange.
As it ripens the skin turns from green to yellow. The flesh inside is usually a lime white color although you can also get pink flesh varieties. The rind of a pomelo is quite thick, but once scored, fairly easy to peel. The membrane between slices is very tough and papery, you’ll definitely want to remove it as I demonstrate in the video. The fruits I’ve had were all seedless with a few very tiny underdeveloped seeds. Look how thick and spongy the rind is!
What Does It Taste Like?
The flavor is milder than a grapefruit – not as bitter, not as sour but there is definitely a resemblance. I also found them to be much more firm and less juicy than a grapefruit. Everyone in our house, young and old, enjoyed the flavor and texture. Here’s a comparison of a pomelo segment and a grapefruit segment.
Unfortunately, sometimes you get an old or dried out pomelo where the flesh is very, very dry. It’s hard to avoid sometimes, but always select the heaviest blemish free pomelo you can find. That’s an unfortunate drawback of getting fruit from far away.
In addition to the white pomelo, you can also get red or ruby pomelos sometimes. Look for the tiny label on the large fruit to see if it says white or red. Often, however it won’t say and even the produce manager won’t know for sure. Not a big deal because unlike the difference between a white or ruby red grapefruit, the white and red pomelos are fairly similar in flavor.
How Do You Peel a Pomelo?
Getting at the fruit inside does take a bit of time and patience. If you’re the type of person who likes the challenge of removing all the white stuff (pith) off a mandarin orange – you’re going to love pomelos! Actually, pomelos are peeled differently than any other citrus.
To help you out, I’ve created both a YouTube video and a visual on How to Peel a Pomelo.
How To Eat It?
Once you’ve peeled and segmented them, just eat ’em as is. We had pomelo slices and brownies for dessert the other night – yummy! We also ate some as snacks throughout the day, I just left the peeled segments in a sealed container in the fridge – by the end of the day everyone had snacked away on them and the bowl was empty. One pomelo was enough for a family of four – with a few leftover slices.
You can also make sweet or savory salads with them. Basically, you can use them anywhere you would use grapefruit or oranges.
Let me know if you try it and what you think of it.
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.