Good to meet you, thanks for stopping by. Now, just in case my name confuses you, you won't find me growing on a vine like a grape. The truth is I'm a juicy and tangy citrus fruit with an interesting history. It's believed that my ancestors came from the West Indies and were a cross between a sweet orange and pomelo.
We were developed in Florida by a French surgeon from Napoleon's army who was captured at Trafalgar by the British and sent to their penal settlement in the Bahamas as a prisoner. There he encountered my citrus ancestors. On his release, he went to the USA and later established citrus plantations in Florida before going on to develop grapefruit. So, you see Napoleon's loss was your gain!
Let me tell you a little more about my family. As I said we're juicy citrus fruit with a tangy flavour. We are a much bigger version of an orange and our flesh too is divided into segments. We're round, often with a flat bottom and a slightly tapering neck. We can be yellow, pink or pale red and our skin is thicker than an orange.
Inside, we're divided into distinct segments by thin, white membranes which radiate from the centre like wheel spokes. Our flesh comprises hundreds of small translucent juice sacs. Some varieties are seedless.
In Australia, we're almost available all year round. We are at our juicy best from April to October but can be hard to find in January.
Did you know?
We're usually sold by colour or our variety. Each variety has different characteristics, like flavour, sweetness, flesh colour and size.
Pink and red fleshed fruit varieties are becoming increasingly popular because they are often sweeter than the yellow varieties. Let me introduce you.
Our real name is Marsh Seedless. We’re a yellow grapefruit with juicy pale-yellow flesh and no seeds. We are tangier and more acidic than our red-pink-coloured cousins.
Ruby, Ruby Blush and Pink Grapefruit
As our name indicates, our rind colour is more orange in colour and we have an attractive ruby-red to pink blush on your rind. Our flesh is also pink-coloured, very juicy and sweeter than yellow grapefruit.
I am the star of the family; I have vibrant orange-pink flesh colour and am extra sweet. You will also notice I have a deep golden rind skin with a pretty red-pink blush and I am a bit smaller than other grapefruit.
Why Grapefruit Are Good To Eat
How They are Grown and Harvested
We're one of the larger citrus fruits, produced on an evergreen, tree, which grows up to 5.5 metres tall. Our parent tree has large, glossy green, oval leaves, with white fragrant flowers which form fruit after pollination. When young the tree is sensitive to cold weather, so grows much better in a tropical climate.
We grow in clusters and resemble a large bunch of yellow grapes (maybe that’s why we are named grapefruit? Once we've been picked, we don't ripen further. We're picked by hand to minimise damage.
The juiciest grapefruit will feel heavy for their size and have firm, well-coloured skin.
How to Keep Grapefruit
We're harvested ripe and ready to eat. Store at room temperature. Use within 7 days. Extend storage by keeping us in the veggie crisper in your fridge.
Prime Growing Areas
Grapefruit production occurs predominantly in the Murray Valley region in Australia
History of Grapefruit
As I mentioned before, it's thought that we're a natural cross between the sweet orange and the pomelo, but no one knows. We were first recorded in 1823 and scientifically named Citrus paradisi soon after in 1830. Cultivation started on a large scale in the USA in the mid to late 19th century and now we are grown in all citrus-producing areas of the world.
Fun Ways to Eat and Cook Grapefruit
Our juicy flesh can be chopped and added to fruit salads.
If you’re not big on our tangy flavour, sprinkle us with a little raw sugar, maple syrup or honey to make it sweeter.
Sprinkle halved grapefruit with a little caster sugar and grill until the sugar caramelises.
Add pink-fleshed grapefruit segments to salads, we team especially well with Asian flavours like chilli.
Make fresh citrus juice using grapefruit and oranges – it’s very refreshing.
Grab a grapefruit and try these Sydney Markets recipes;