Grapefruit | CUESA

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The grapefruit was discovered in Barbados in the late 18th century. It is a cross between the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo, and up until the 19th century it was grown as decoration rather than as an edible treat. The fruit comes in a variety of colors, and flavors can range from highly acidic to bitter sweet and tart. While grapefruit is beneficial for your health, as it is rich in vitamin C, the fruit has also been shown to inhibit certain chemotherapy and blood pressure medications.

Grapefruits were originally harvested by climbing the trees or by using picking hooks, which often damaged the fruit. Now, lower fruits are picked by hand whereas the higher ones are reached with ladders. Some California groves have also begun employing modified olive tree limb-shakers, which can cause some damage to the crop but makes the harvesting process more efficient.

When selecting grapefruits, look for ones that are heavier than expected for their size. This means that they will have a thinner flesh and more juice. When pressed, ripe grapefruits will be firm but a little springy. If you plan on eating your grapefruit right away, store at room temperature as they are juicier when warm. Otherwise, keep grapefruit in the refrigerator. They will stay ripe for two to three weeks.

In Season

January, February, March, April, December

Recipes with Grapefruit

Ceviche de Palmito & Pomelo (Tangy Heart of Palm & Citrus Ceviche)

Mariana Velásquez, Colombiana

Grapefruit, Goat Cheese, and Pine Nut Salad

Ayesha Curry, The Full Plate

Revani with Honey-Poached Cara Cara Oranges

Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra Bakery & Cafe

Roasted Beets, Fromage Blanc, Grapefruit, and Pistachio

Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton, Hillside Supper Club

Articles about Grapefruit

January 12, 2018

Sunshine in the Winter: A Farmers Market Guide to Citrus

From Cara Cara oranges to Buddha’s Hand citron, here are the winter citrus fruits you don’t want to miss the farmers market.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »