Love and Old Friends
By Mark Mulcahy
I fell in love again this spring with an old friend that has been with me since childhood. When we first met it was a sugary tart encounter segmented in its own bowl of delight on Sunday mornings. When I was in the beginning of my produce career, I knew it was getting serious as I was introduced to the parent of my friend, Pomelo.
Now again Ruby and I have come back together after being reintroduced in a produce department last month and I’ve spent the last several weeks enjoying my friend’s company during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let me give you a little background on my sweet tart friend, Citrus paradise and her family. Unlike oranges, lemons and limes, Citrus paradise, a.k.a. grapefruit did not originate in Southeast Asia but in the Caribbean.
Compared to those more ancient citruses, it’s the new kid on the block. The grapefruit’s predecessor, the shaddock or pomelo, was brought to the West Indies by European explorers. By 1750 it was noted that a small shaddock-type fruit was found that grew in clusters like a grape, thus the name. Its smooth skin and juicy flesh distinguished it from its larger, rougher parents as an entirely new fruit, Citrus paradise or citrus of paradise.
If you are wandering around the produce department and want to make your own introduction, don’t be fooled by a grapefruit’s color. While a pretty pink blush on the outside may indicate sweet flavor inside it isn’t the only determining factor. Grapefruit has the highest heat requirements of citrus. Hot summers and cool winters determine quality, and white or yellow grapefruit, such as the Marsh, can be as delicious as the deepest red variety, such as Rio Red and Star Ruby. Summer grapefruit is usually coastal grown and not as sweet. Your best indication of quality is firm, resilient fruit with tight skin. Thick, pebbly rind and softness indicate lesser quality.
Melissa’s organic pink grapefruit is also the perfect partner to help you keep your goal of dropping a few pounds before the summer, as one-half of a medium-sized fruit has zero fat, just 60 calories, 24% of your daily fiber, 110% of your daily vitamin C, plus a good dose of vitamin A and potassium, and a little bit of calcium. Its sweet-sour and slightly bitter properties aid digestion and promote peristalsis, the muscular action that moves food through the gastrointestinal tract The bioflavonoids found in the pith and skin, and the vitamin C make grapefruit a good choice for strengthening the circulatory system.
By now it’s obvious why I’ve fallen back in love with my delicious Caribbean friend. And you can too! Eaten fresh, juiced, or even broiled, this can be the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.
2 Melissa’s organic pink grapefruit, halved
1 tbsp. honey
Ground ginger or cinnamon, to taste
Preheat your oven broiler.
Cut each Melissa’s organic pink grapefruit in half and place on a baking sheet.
Drizzle some honey on top of each half, and sprinkle with some ground ginger or cinnamon.
Place the grapefruit under the broiler until slightly browned (about 5 to 6 minutes).