Tropical fruits always capture my attention, and pomelo happens to be one of the many that I took an interest in.
Simply put, it is a yellow or green tropical citrus fruit that thrives in warm climates.
It is grown in China, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and some parts of the United States.
Pomelos are very large in size, so you are unlikely to miss them at the grocery store.
Don’t be skeptical to buy pomelo because of its size.
Once you peel off the skin, you will realize that the fruit is not as big as it seems to be. It is very unlikely that you will have any leftovers.
If you have never tasted pomelo and want to buy one you may be wondering what it tastes like.
This article will give you all the information you need to know about pomelo including the flavor, varieties, uses, and so much more.
We will even look at a few interesting facts, so keep reading.
The flavor of pomelo
Pomelo’s flavor is very similar to that of grapefruit. However, it is less intense. The flesh is pleasantly sweet and does not have the bitterness of grapefruit that most people struggle with.
Pomelos have a white pith between their segments that are usually tough and bitter.
It is very unpleasant to eat and should be discarded.
The texture of the pulp is firm and somewhat coarse. Compared to other citrus fruits, pomelo produces very little juice.
However, you can still use it to make pomelo juice which tastes way better compared to grapefruit juice.
Most pomelo varieties do not have pips.
Therefore, there is no need to fish through the many segments to try and scoop them out.
However, you may come across some that have very few pips.
Pomelo varieties compared
There are four varieties of pomelo available. Here is how they differ in flavor.
This variety is much smaller in size compared to the others and greatly resembles a grapefruit.
It has yellow flesh which is very sweet. The flavor is simply outstanding.
Tahitian pomelo is arguably the best pomelo variety out there.
It has an amazing texture and sweet flavor. The only downside is that it may contain a lot of seeds.
Chandler is a popular variety that is slightly acidic.
It is pleasantly sweet and its flesh is usually pink in color. Just like Tahitian, it contains a lot of seeds.
Valentine pomelo is another interesting variety.
Its name is as a result of its heart shape, and the fact that it matures around Valentine’s Day.
It has pink flesh and a pleasant flavor. Valentine has always been an excellent addition to salads.
Differences between pomelo and grapefruit
Pomelo and grapefruit are similar in many ways. They even look and taste the same and have a bitter aroma.
Despite the similarities, they have several differences.
Pomelo has thick skin whereas grapefruit has thinner skin. Therefore, it is easier to peel pomelo.
Pomelo has a very mild flavor while grapefruit has an intense flavor. Compared to grapefruit, pomelo is much sweeter.
Another difference is in the size. Pomelos are bigger and less juicy compared to grapefruit.
They also have firm flesh as opposed to grapefruits’ softer flesh.
How to peel pomelo
If you are wondering what the proper way to peel pomelo is, I’ve got you. Just follow these simple steps.
- Remove the cap
The best way to do this is to place the pomelo on a chopping board and use a knife to slice half an inch from the top of the fruit.
Once you remove the cap, you won’t see any segments of the flesh.
- Cut the sides
Use a sharp knife to slice six vertical cuts into the fruit. Once you have done so, use your fingers to pull sections of the skin from the pomelo.
By the time you are done, the pomelo will look like a flower whose petals are opened.
- Get rid of the rind
Remove the rind from the pomelo and discard it. You can, however, use the skin to make marmalade or candy.
- Pull the sections apart
Once you have removed the skin, you can separate the segments. Just use your fingers to pull the sections apart.
You can use a knife to remove the white membrane that surrounds each segment.
How to use pomelo
Pomelos have several culinary uses. Their mild flavor makes them very versatile.
Several herbs including basil, cilantro, and mint pair perfectly with pomelo.
They also complement other tropical fruits including; pineapple, amla, papaya, and coconut.
You can add pomelo to casseroles and fresh roasted seasonal vegetables.
If you are working on a recipe that calls for lemon or orange, you can add pomelo for an enhanced flavor.
It is however important to note that if you hit the dish too much the bitter taste of pomelo will intensify.
Here are a few other ways you can use pomelo.
- Eat out of hand
Place the pomelo segments in a bowl and sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon or sugar. Enjoy!
- Make conserves
You can use the pomelo skin to make a sweet conserve.
- Add to salads
Next time you make a fresh Thai salad with grilled prawns, add some pomelo to make it more vibrant and enhance the flavor.
- Make candy
You can use pomelo to make flavored candy.
- Make pomelo juice
If you like grape juice you will definitely like pomelo juice since it is more appealing.
- Add it to cocktails
You can pair pomelo with mint or basil in a cocktail. You can also add it to sangria for an even better flavor.
Is pomelo healthy?
Pomelos are actually very healthy fruits that offer a wide range of benefits.
They contain potassium, fiber, and vitamin C, all of which are essential nutrients in the body.
They are also a good source of antioxidants since they contain limonene and flavonoids.
The amazing pomelo flavor paired with the nutritional benefits makes it an excellent addition to any diet.
Interesting facts about pomelo
- Pomelo goes by several names including; pumelo, pummelo, citrus maxima, pamplemousse, shaddock, and citrus grandis.
- Pomelo is the largest citrus fruit. Its diameter is between 5.9” and 9.9”. It is also quite heavy, the heaviest one weighs approximately 11 pounds.
- Pomelo trees last for very long. They can live for upto 150 years. They can also grow up to 25 feet in height.
- Botanists have on numerous occasions used pomelo to develop new fruit varieties. There are speculations that it was crossed with an orange to form grapefruits.
If you do not like intense flavors in fruits, pomelo is an excellent choice.
Most people prefer pomelo to grapefruit, even fussy eaters don’t mind it.
Personally, I prefer pomelo to grapefruit for one main reason. With pomelo, there is absolutely no need to add sugar to balance the flavors.
On the other hand, I always have to load my grapefruits with sugar to balance out the flavor.
If you haven’t tried pomelo before, I suggest that you do. I can bet that you won’t regret it.
Let me know how you find the experience.