Pomelo is a giant citrus fruit that is native to Southeast Asia. The flavour of a pomelo can range from sweet to tart, depending on the variety that you get.
The variety that I usually find here in Ontario tastes like a sweet grapefruit, but are less juicy (which makes them less messy to eat). I always try to grab one of these when they show up at the grocery.
What is a Pomelo?
Pomelos look like a huge grapefruits, but are generally less acidic than a grapefruit. There are different varieties of pomelo that vary in shape, colour and flavour. Some pomelos are the size of a large grapefruit, while others are as large as a basketball!
The flesh of a pomelo can range from light yellow to bright pink and, like grapefruits, the pink varieties are sweeter than the white ones, which can be bitter. Some types of pomelo are tangy, tart and slightly bitter, while others are spicy-sweet in flavour. The pulp can vary from somewhat juicy to slightly dry.
Where to buy a Pomelo?
Some large grocery stores carry pomelos throughout the year, but they are mostly available in January and February in Canada. If your grocery doesn’t have them, you can check an Asian market.
Like most citrus fruits, you want to buy pomelos that are firm, have a bright colour and shiny skin, and are heavy for their size. Avoid soft or bruised fruits.
How to use a Pomelo?
Pomelos have a spongy rind with a thick pith, which can be peeled away with your fingers. Under that is a very sturdy bitter membrane, which can be tricky to remove. If you find that you can’t peel the membrane off the segments with your fingers or a knife, try refrigerating the fruit for a while. The cold temperature can sometimes make the membrane easier to remove.
Once you’ve peeled your pomelo, you can eat the segments out of hand (like an orange), or toss them into salads. You can use the juice in cocktails, marinades, salad dressings or mix it into a punch. Basically, you can use it the way you would use a grapefruit or orange.
How to store a Pomelo?
Pomelos will last for about a week at room temperature, and 2-3 weeks when stored in the fruit drawer in your fridge.