Sunday, February 26, 2012

When is a Grapefruit, Not a Grapefruit?

Food blog today, peops. I just ate a pomelit and I realized that I should really write about them because I know that a lot of my American friends have never heard of or tasted them and that's a shame. They are SPECIAL.


I still remember the first time I saw the curious fruit known as a pomelo (the fruit I ate just now is its smaller kissing cousin, the pomelit or "sweetie").  I had been in Israel only a month or so. A girl in one of my classes brought out this ginormous thing I thought was a grapefruit. She started cutting away the peel. It took ages. When she was done, there was a HUGE pile of peel and a small pile of fruit. 


The pomelo looks a great deal like a giant grapefruit.  The skin is most often green but can run anywhere from pale yellow to yellow-green, going all the way to just plain green. The taste of a pomelo is similar to grapefruit, too, except that the pomelo is sweeter and lacks the acidity of grapefruit.  Just like a grapefruit, a pomelo is eaten without its membranes. One eats only the yellow or pink papules contained within.
A pomelo has a large ratio of waste to fruit and it’s a bit of work to get to the delicious insides. The peel is quite thick; there will be at least an inch of peel, if not more. A knife helps. 

Once you get past the thick peel, you still have to free the fruit from the membranes, which are thicker than those of other citrus fruits.  The good news is there aren’t too many seeds in a pomelo and they are easy to remove.

The fruit itself is dry compared to other citrus fruits. The sweeter hybrid known as the pomelit, is much juicier than its larger relative the pomelo and I tend to keep a lot of paper toweling around me when I eat one.

If you like using citrus fruits in spinach, avocado, or chicken salads, try substituting pomelo or pomelit. It’s like the fruit was BORN for this purpose. The sections hold their shape and look like colorful jewels. They add sweetness without the cloying insistence of say, mandarin oranges. At the same time, they don’t make your mouth pucker as grapefruit sections tend to do.

We’re really past the season of pomelos and pomelits, here in Israel, but I’m still buying them up when I see them. It seems I can’t resist them at all. Nor do I want to try.

My favorite fruits:

White Peaches


What are some of your favorite fruits?

Pomelo, of course!


  1. Interesting fruit Varda! It looks delicious, but also looks like I'd get too hungry getting to the fruit, but it must be worth it!
    My favorite fruits?
    Watermelon, Pomegranates(messy), pears, cherries (messy)plums! There must be more, I just can't think of them now! Interesting blog!!

    1. Randi, I think of them as diet food. My sister and I used to eat artichokes and thought of them as skinny food even though we dipped them in butter sauce, because it took so long to deal with eating them that you had time to fill up before eating too much. I feel the same way about pomelos: you use up the calories peeling the suckers :-)

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You know I appreciate that!

  2. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....