It is citrus season in Southwest Florida and the best time to pick up fresh Florida grapefruits, tangerines and honeybells. And it might be time to try a locally grown pomelo. South Naples Citrus Grove has been a staple at Marco Island’s Farmers Market for more than eight years. They bring their fresh ripe tangelos, easy-to-peel tangerines, pink, ruby red and white grapefruits and fresh squeezed orange juice. Sweet honeybells are at the peak of the season right now. They also have a large bin filled with giant pomelos!
What is a pomelo? They look like oversize grapefruits. You’ve walked past them at the produce section of the grocery store and have been tempted to bring one home. But what does one do with such a large fruit? The pomelo is the giant of the citrus family, with the scientific name “citrus maxima.” It can weigh between 2-4 pounds. Pomelos originated from Southeast Asia. Its outside texture is very similar to a grapefruit and the inside can be creamy red, pink or white. Some pomelos are filled with seeds and other varieties have little to no seeds.
What does it taste like? Pomelos are sweeter than a grapefruit, and don’t have the occasional harsh, bitter tang of a grapefruit. As it ripens, the pomelo turns from green to yellow. The rind of a pomelo is quite thick, but once scored, it is fairly easy to peel. When purchasing pomelo, select the heaviest and most blemish free fruit you can find. Getting at the fruit inside does take a bit of work. If you like removing the white stuff (pith) from a mandarin orange – you are going to love pomelos. Once you’ve peeled and segmented them, just eat and enjoy. Or you can add pomelos to savory salads. Basically, use pomelos as you would use grapefruits or oranges. Enjoy!
If you missed the pomelos at Wednesday’s Farmers Market, you can find them at the South Naples Citrus Grove store located at 341 Sabal Palm Road, Naples, Florida.
Pomelo Fruit Platter Recipe
- 1-2 fresh pomelo fruit
- 3/4 cup raspberries, strawberries or combination
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 2/3 cup roasted cashews (optional)
- 2 Tbs. good quality honey
- 1 Tbs. lime juice
- 2 Tbs. fresh mint
- Peel pomelos, separate the segments and cut them up into chunks.
- Combine pomelos, raspberries/strawberries and blueberries, top with cashews. Add lime juice and toss well.
- Slightly soften the honey by microwaving for 10 seconds. (This will make it easier to pour.) Pour the honey over the mixture.
- Garnish with fresh mint and lime zest, if desired.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.