You Say Pummelo, I Say Pomelo

Enormous Pomelo

However you write it, the ancestor of the grapefruit, and perhaps all citrus, sure is tasty. A couple weeks ago, I bought a King Kong caliber yellow (for the sake of standardization here) pomelo with gorgeous bright pink flesh from my local farmers market. I only bought one, to put in my beet and citrus salad.

It was so sweet, juicy and mild, that last weekend I decided to buy a couple more to enjoy out of hand. Just look at the size of this thing. I am an average sized woman with normal sized hands. Seriously, I’m not a dwarf.

I should have broken out my tape measure, but alas, didn’t think of it. Putting it in the fruit basket that normally holds, oh, a dozen oranges or apples was straining to contain just two of the three pomelos we bought. It’s practically Jurassic.

It looks silly next to a regular ol’ orange the way that an ostrich egg is totally absurd next to a chicken egg. It takes some real muscle to get into it (maybe because I could hardly get a good grip on it with my woefully inadequate baby-hands) but after working at it a while, I managed to breach the skin and inch or three of soft pink pith.

Peeled Pomelo

The hint of girly-girl in me loves that the pith is light pink

The porous pith between the skin and juicy edible morsels is quite spongy and would make a great cotton batting substitute if you had a yen to do some quilting part way through peeling. The membrane between each segment is pretty tough and tears off in big pieces so you are just left with the fabulously delicious vesicles (yes, vesicles. apparently meaning: small liquid filled sacs). Appropriate, I thought.

Pomelo Segment

Impressive single segment, huh?

Three of us delightfully split one fruit, and Marc and I were amazed that his mom polished off a whole one herself. At the farmers market, our local vendor sells each one for $2, or three for $5, so I couldn’t help but buy three of them. Keep your eyes peeled for them in your area. I had been unimpressed with varieties that had yellow or white pulp, but these pink ones are really worth seeking out. Marc and I both agreed it was possibly the best grapefruit (for comparison) we’d ever eaten.

Amigos Grapefruit

My 17 year old self with a truck-load of Texas grapefruit

And I’ve eaten my fair share of grapefruit. For a high school fundraiser to go to Mexico with Amigos de las Americas, I had to sell (and…um…sample) several thousand dollars worth of Texas ruby red grapefruit. Believe me, that’s a lot of grapefruit. You’d think it would have ruined grapefruit for me for life, but it actually just sealed in a deep appreciation for the sweet-tart citrus. Once we had two humongous pomelos worth of peel sitting on the counter, I thought it would be fun to candy it. At almost two bucks a pop, I thought I’d stretch it as far as the fruit would go.

17 thoughts on “You Say Pummelo, I Say Pomelo”

  1. Revathi – Actually pomelos are quite citrusy, even though they resemble an ostrich egg ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Vegeyum – Isn’t it though?

    Cookie – Seriously, I thought it looked kidney-like too. The vendor I buy from grows in Turlock, so maybe they come to Marin too. Thanks for the blog references. I’ll look ’em up!

  2. that picture is just so cute of you in front of the grapefruits!!!!
    I’ve never had a pomelo, thanks for the inspiration to try one. Two weeks ago at the farmers market I saw a friend of mine who I always see shopping at the market, he’s the head chef of a delicious restaurant. We said hello at the citrus stand and the guy handed him a HUGE plastic bag that he fit over ten of those big pomelos in, it was interesting seeing him walking with a clear garbage bag size bag of yellow pomelos. yum!

  3. Megan – Thanks! It’s so great to “see” you! Yes, if you can find pink pomelos that are heavy for their size and local, you are in for a big treat. The image of the huge plastic bag filled with pomelos is a fun one. I’m enjoying them now, even more than grapefruits. I hope to see you next week! Love to you and Tony!

  4. hi bri,

    ok, a few things:

    1. that thing is as big as my mom’s head, and i KNOW she would devour the whole thing like marc’s mom did. now i can’t say that it’s just a filipino mom thing. just citrus love.

    2. 3 for $5??? that fruit would be $8 for one around here – if i could even find it! good for you.

    3. two words: pomelo sorbet.

    4. did i already tell you that thing is absolutely mammoth?

    thanks for the post (and you were a very cute teenager!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Gigi – 1. Yes…citrus love…
    2. Okay, I admit it, I am utterly spoiled by California’s produce riches.
    3. one word: yum!
    4. no, I don’t think you mentioned that yet ๐Ÿ˜‰
    and thanks for the compliment. Of course, when I was one, I didn’t think so. What is that saying…youth is wasted on the young.

    Also, I had a pomelo today from a different vendor…now I know why I thought they weren’t very good. So as long as everyone gets to buy pomelos from Brenda at the Santa Rosa farmers market, we’ll all be satiated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. HELLO! where would i find that variety of pomelo? i live in florida, most of the pomelos i have tried have not been sweet or juicy! i am willing to plant my own if i can get my grubby paws into a delicious one!

  7. Hey there,

    Maybe you can teach me a little something, but my pomelo was white and not pink. Is there different types?

  8. Margaret & Sesil ~ There ARE different types of pomelos. The pink ones seem to be tastier in our experience.

    Margaret ~ If you truly intend on growing a tree, be forewarned they are huge tree upwards of 50ft tall, like any standard citrus tree but with these gigantic fruits! I’m sure there are specialty nurseries that would carry ‘baby’trees.

    Here are some articles to check out:
    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-pomelo.htm

    This second article mentions a couple of hybrids. Do more research to find what you’re looking for.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/12/25/HOG7FAFSVC1.DTL

    They are in season now and popular in Asian & Hispanic cuisine, so look for them in those types of grocery stores as well as at your local farmers market.

  9. I LIVE IN BARTOW, FL AND HERE THEY SALE FOR 1.69LB EQUALING ALMOST $7. THE ONES I HAVE BOUGHT ARE NOT A REAL PINK COLOR BUT LIGHT PINK AND ITS SWEET AND BITTER. WHEN I FIRST BOUGHT WHEN THEY CAME OUT IT WAS PINK I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED BUT I WISH I COULD FIND ONE OUT THERE THAT PINK AND SWEET. THEY ARE DELICIOUS AND I CAN DOWN ONE WHOLE BY MY SELF. ENJOY EVERYONE.

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