What Is A Pomelo?

Find out what it tastes like, where to buy it, and how to use one best.


Description: The largest member of the citrus family, the pomelo ranges from the size of a cantaloupe to a 25-pound watermelon. It's native to Malaysia and grows on thorny evergreen trees with leathery leaves. The thick, soft rind varies in color (yellow to yellowish-brown to pink), while the interior can be a coral pink or light yellow. Pomelos also have thicker pith than other citrus varieties.

Flavor Profile: The flavor is like a grapefruit but milder, without the occasional bitter tang.  

What’s in a Name? Pomelos are also known as shaddocks (likely a variation on chaddock, after 17th-century English sea captain Captain Philip Chaddock, who introduced the fruit to Barbados). They are also known as Chinese grapefruits, as the Chinese word for pomelo is a homophone for “blessing.”     

Buying Tips: November through March is the prime season to buy pomelos. Latin and Asian markets, as well as most grocery stores, carry them. Look for pale green to yellow fruits that feel heavy for their size. Avoid soft fruits with dull color and ones that yield easily to pressure. Pomelos can last a week in the fridge. 

How To Use: Remove the thick rind and peel the membrane from around the segments. Pomelos can be eaten out of hand, mixed into salads, used in a marinade, or juiced for a cocktail. The aromatic peel can be candied or used to make marmalade.  



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