Season for Pomelos December – April

Pomelos Described

The pomelo is the patriarch of the citrus family – albeit underappreciated. Sometimes called pummelo, pommelo, shaddock or jabong, pomelos resemble overgrown grapefruits, but are in fact an ancestor to the grapefruit. And while hefty in size, don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll get pomelo juice for days. Much of a pomelo’s bulk is in its foam-like pith, which makes it awesome for candying. Pomelos are usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white flesh and a very thick rind as we mentioned. 

How to Buy and Store Pomelos

When buying pomelos (available at most Asian or Latin American markets), choose those that are relatively firm and seem heavy for their size (meaning they’ll be juicy). Blemishes on the skin are okay, but avoid very soft, dull-skinned fruits that yield too easily to slight pressure and those that appear dried-out on the stem end. You can keep your pomelos for a week in the refrigerator, or for a few days left at room temperature. You can also freeze their juice and zest just as you would an orange. 

How to Cook Pomelos

A pomelo’s flavor is generally a sweeter, milder version of a grapefruit. As opposed to eating it like a grapefruit though (with a spoon), it is more often peeled and segmented (and demembraned), after which it can be added to fruit salads and savory salads alike. The peel is often considered inedible and discarded, but in fact can be used to make marmalade, can be candied (and subsequently dipped in chocolate or other sauces!), making for uniquely delicious culinary explorations into the forgotten land of pomelos. 

Health Benefits of Pomelos

Citrus fruit is, of course, burgeoning with vitamin C – and pomelo is no exception. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, calcium, iron and potassium. Most notable, pomelos are loaded with antioxidants that are believed to help slow down the aging process and protect against some diseases – including heart disease and cancer – as they help rid the body of free radicals. 

Why Buy Natural and Organic Pomelos

While the thick rind of the pomelo is sure to protect its edible contents from some pesticides, remember, that when chemicals are sprayed, they can infiltrate the soil, become absorbed by the plants roots and be distributed throughout the whole of the fruit just like nutrients are! So, your only fool proof method to ensure pesticide-free fare is to purchase organically-grown pomelos. Besides, one of the yummiest ways to capitalize on the pomelo’s oft-seeming ridicuously-large pith is to candy that sucker! 

image: tinabasgen