Pummelo or Pomelo is a generic name covering a range of tropical citrus fruits which more closely resemble grapefruit than other citrus types. However, for most people in Europe, a Pomelo means just one fruit: a large, pear shaped citrus fruit, normally with thick smooth yellow skin, tightly packed but separate juice sacs (vesicles) and a distinctive sweet, perfumed flavour. The juice sacs and the pith can be varying shades of colour from yellow to pink or pale red, as can the skin. Often, there are quite prominent oil cells on the skin that convey a pebbled appearance.
A Pomelo is generally quite difficult to penetrate and prepare for eating and needs a bit if forward planning. Once the peel is removed, there is then plenty of pith (albedo) to remove as well. Then the segments, often up to 16, can be prised apart for the segment walls to be removed. The segment walls are chewy and bitter, but the juice sacs that are revealed are particularly sweet and delicious, low in acids and with varying flavour depending on the variety and origin.
Good Fruit Guide Rating: ****
A good Pomelo is a lovely eating experience, once you have mastered the art of preparation. The Thai varieties seems to have more fragrance of flavour that the more common Chinese varieties found on sale in UK.
Sweet, fragrant, thick-skinned.
Names: Pummelo; Pomelo; Honey Pomelo; Shaddock; Citrus grandis.
Origin: Pummelo or Pomelo fruit probably originate in southern China. The fruit was first introduced to the Americas and Europe in the 17th century after propagation of seedlings in Barbados that had been brought from SE Asia by a Captain Shaddock. There are now three groups of varieties: China, Thailand and Indonesia, plus many hybrids that have resulted from various cosses over the years.
Grown in: China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, India, Israel
Harvest & Availability: Supplies of Pomelo to UK supermarkets are generally as follows:
- January: China
- February: China
- March: China
- October: China
- November: China
- December: China
Citrus Pages – Pomelos