Peak season: November to April
The pomelo fruit was bred in Israel at the start of the 1970s by crossing grapefruit and pomelo. It quickly became a popular citrus fruit in the country, alongside tangerines, oranges, and lemons. After being grown in Israel, South Africa, Southeast Asia, and China, the fruit “pomelo” or “honey pomelo” appeared independently on European markets.
In a warm and frost-free climate, the evergreen pomelo tree grows up to 15 meters tall. Pomelos weigh between 500 and almost 2000 grams. However, the pear-shaped pomelo’s weight is partly attributed to its skin and the underlying white protective layer (or pith), which is up to two centimetres thick. The pith should be removed during preparation because of its bitter substance.
Depending on its sweetness, 100 grammes of pomelo have between 25 and 50 calories (kcal). One hundred grammes of pomelo contain around 40 milligrammes of vitamin C. Pomelos are also rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, especially potassium.
The bitter compound limonene, which is present in high concentrations, can stimulate intestinal activity.
Pomelos are typically eaten raw, but they also go well in and with various dishes, salads, spreads, sauces, muesli, and speciality ice creams.
The fruit is even used in China as a tea and coffee flavour. Washed pomelo peels are particularly suitable as a spice in sauces and beverages. However, one should pay attention to untreated fruits.
Before preparation, you should wash pomelos thoroughly under hot water (possibly with vinegar). This means that no pesticides or wax residues can get into the pulp during processing.
Cut the top at the stem’s base.
Make deep cuts all around its rind.
Remove the rind, including all the pith or white parts. Separate the fruit’s flesh from the carved-out peels by carefully pulling the pieces apart. By doing this, you can avoid the bitter taste.
When buying, watch out for heavy fruits. Pomelos will last up to two weeks when stored at room temperature and longer at temperatures below 15 degrees.
Despite its numerous and primarily healthy ingredients and effects, it is essential to note that pomelo – as with other citrus fruits – can cause reactions when taking certain medications (e.g., hypertensive drugs, sleeping pills, or hormonal contraceptives).
Small pomelo slices taste perfectly with curry sauce, a coconut milk-based sauce enriched with dried vegetable bouillon or soy sauce, a little whiskey and olive oil, lots of hot and mild curry, fresh ginger, some pepperoncini, parsley, and chives. They are also best served over a fennel or mango salad with curry salad sauce.