The grapefruit is a delicious subtropical citrus fruit from the evergreen tree of the same name. This fruit is an accidental cross between the sweet orange and the pomelo which originated in Barbados.
The fruit is also referred to as the Forbidden fruit or the fruit of paradise.
The grapefruit is known for its sour to semi-sweet taste and usually grows larger than the sweet orange. It grows in clusters off the tree similar to those of grapes.
The fruit is harvested off a tree that grows to about six meters tall on average but is also not uncommon to find trees that have reached up to 15 meters tall. It bears a yellow-orange fruit that reaches about 15 centimeters in diameter and is oblate in shape. Their fruit bears several white seeds although there are seedless varieties.
Like other citrus fruits, the flesh is segmented and acidic with redder varieties of pulp being sweeter. The pulp ranges from white and pink to red.
The world’s largest producers of grapefruit include the People’s Republic of China, the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and South Africa ahead of the rest.
The grapefruit can be found in stores and marketplaces throughout the year. Fresh fruit should have bright and vibrant skin with a sheen. The fruit should be firm but should yield to mild pressure. They should not have signs of bruises and cuts nor should they have any signs of mold or rot.
The fruits should not have wrinkles and they should feel heavy for their size. They should have a sweet citrus aroma.
When at home the fruit should be stored at room temperature where they can keep for several days. To keep for about three to four weeks the fruits should be kept in a refrigerator in the fruit compartment or in a zip-lock bag.
Prolonged cold storage, especially below 10 degrees Celsius, can injure the fruit.
Preparation of Grapefruit for Consumption
Wash the grapefruits under cold running water to remove any dirt and pesticide residue. The fruit can then be peeled with the fingers or cut lengthwise into pieces as desired. If using the zest then you may use a grater to remove the zest from the peel as needed.
The fruit can be eaten as a refreshing snack raw. The grapefruit can be added to fruit and green salad preparations. The fruit can also be squeezed for its refreshing juice which can also be used to make a cocktail and mocktail drinks.
The fruit can also be used as an ingredient to make dessert, marmalade, jam, jelly, and candy preparations. The peel can also be candied.
Grapefruit contains just 42 calories per 100 grams and contains no cholesterol or saturated fats. It is a good source of dietary fiber and has good amounts of carbohydrates. The fruit is rich in antioxidants and B-complex vitamins, other vitamins, and minerals.
Grapefruits are very rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. They are also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as folates, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, thiamin, and riboflavin.
It is a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It is also a rich source of phosphorus and copper.