Off to the Farmers’ Market last Sunday in the cold grey fog. It’s been foggy like this for days. No sun, just grey skies. Ever hear the phrase, grey skies bringing me down? Well I’m so there. So I’m thinking, what will perk me up? What can I find at the Farmers’ Market that looks and tastes like sunshine? Something big and yellow with a taste that is crisp and sweet. I know, a pomelo.
I know the picture looks like a grapefruit, but it’s so much more. A pomelo is an exotic citrus fruit that is an ancient ancestor of the common grapefruit. It may also be called Chinese grapefruit, shaddock, pommelo, or pompelmous. It is the largest of the citrus and has a very thick, soft rind. Think of it as a grapefruit on steroids. It is sweeter than a grapefruit and can be eaten fresh, although membranes around the segments should be peeled because they tend to be bitter.
A history check says it’s grown in many eastern countries including China, Japan, India, Fiji, Malaysia, and Thailand. It is also now grown in the Caribbean and in the United States, in California and Florida. They’re in season November through March, so right now.
Pomelos are especially popular for Chinese New Year. The Chinese believe the delectable pomelo is a sign of prosperity and good fortune – good things will happen if you eat it. A good thing to keep in mind since Chinese New Year, The Year of the Tiger, is just around the corner.
They are a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
I’m one of those funny people who eat grapefruit like most people eat oranges. And so it is with the mighty pomelo, I just peel em and eat em. But in my research I came across quite a few interesting recipes that might just be worth a try.
Pomelo and Crab Salad
½ cup crabmeat
1/2 cup julienned carrot
½ cup cubed cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup sliced cucumber
1 medium pomelo fruit
1/4 cup fish sauce (dipping sauce)
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaf
2 tablespoons coarsely ground peanuts
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fried shallot (optional)
Peel pomelo, extract the segments as intact as you can, separate into small 3/4″ pieces.
Combine all ingredients except cilantro and peanuts.
Toss gently in a mixing bowl.
Serve lightly chilled with cilantro and fried shallots if desired.
Serves 4 – 6
4 peeled sections of pomelo chopped
6 mint leaves
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate or orange sorbet
1 1/2 ounces white rum
1 lime wedge
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the pomelo with the mint and orange juice concentrate. Add the rum and ice and shake well. Pour into a highball glass. Top with club soda and garnish with the lime wedge.
What to buy at the Farmers’ Market: