If you’ve ever been at the market and spotted what looks like a grapefruit on steroids— larger than a softball and sometimes even approaching the size of a volleyball—chances are it’s a pomelo.
Read on to learn more about this fruit and how to get past its exceedingly thick skin and down to its juicy flesh.
What Is a Pomelo?
Pomelos, or pummelos (Citrus maxima and Citrus grandis), are the behemoths of the citrus family: They can grow to up to a foot in diameter and weigh from 2 to 4 pounds.
But when it comes to taste, these giants are gentle, boasting a flavor profile similar to grapefruit but without its sharp tartness and bitterness.
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The fruit, which is also known as shaddock, is native to Southeast Asia and the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. It is highly prized across many regions of Asia, where it is often added to salads.
Chinese cooks include it in the festive raw fish platter, yu sheng, that’s served during Chinese New Year and spoon it over sweet desserts for a boost of mellow acidity. In Sri Lanka, pomelos are often sprinkled with sugar and eaten on their own as a dessert. In the Philippines, the fruit is combined with pineapple juice to make a refreshing beverage. Pomelo rind is also frequently candied and the whole fruit may be made into jam.
I love to pair them with assertive greens, such in as my Kale Salad with Jicama, Pomelo, and Candied Cashews.
How to Peel a Pomelo
1. Cut off blossom end of fruit, removing ½ inch of skin and pith.
2. Working from pole to pole, cut skin into quarters, cutting down to—but not into—fruit.
3. Peel back skin from each quarter.
4. Open pomelo and separate segments.
5. Gently peel away membrane from each segment and break segments into ½-inch pieces.