What is grapefruit?

This large, bold citrus fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a pomelo. There are several popular varieties, some yellow and some pinkish-red. The redder types tend to be sweeter. A grapefruit half is as symbolic of the breakfast table as a bowl of cereal and a plate of eggs and buttered toast.

Why is grapefruit healthy?

Like all citrus, grapefruit is packed with vitamin C and other potent antioxidants. It’s also a good source of fiber. Grapefruit may help protect against diabetes, can lower blood pressure, and could also help reduce the risk of kidney stones. Grapefruit can interact with some medications, and eating too much of it might be harmful to your tooth enamel.

What does grapefruit taste like?

Grapefruit has a sweet and sour, brightly acidic citrus flavor and a musky, grassy, metallic fragrance. Besides grapefruit mercaptan, (1-p-menthol-8-thiol) the aromatic compounds that give grapefruit its signature scent are redolent of hops, pineapple, green tea, and blackcurrant. Ruby red or pink grapefruit tends to be sweeter than white grapefruit.

How do I use grapefruit?

If you find the bitterness of grapefruit too intense, the best solution is to supreme the fruit by removing the segments from the pith and membranes. Another approach is to halve the grapefruit, sprinkle on sugar, and broil it until it’s caramelized. In general, a grapefruit can go anywhere an orange or lime can go — it’ll just bring more complexity.

What does grapefruit pair well with?

Grapefruit’s bracing qualities make it an ideal partner to piney ingredients like rosemary, juniper berry (gin), and pink peppercorn. It also plays well with other bitter flavors like orange peel, radicchio (and other chicories), and broccoli rabe.

Where does grapefruit grow?

Grapefruit is thought to have originated in the Caribbean as a natural hybrid between sweet orange and pomelo (both originating in China). The fruit was brought to Florida in the 1820s, and the dozen or so modern grapefruit varieties are still grown there and in Texas and today.

How to buy grapefruit

When shopping for grapefruit, look for smooth, blemish-free specimens with a slight blush and no mold on the skin. They’ll stay fresh for a week at room temperature or refrigerate them for up to three weeks.

Surprising grapefruit fact

Faddish grapefruit diets have come and gone throughout the past century, beginning with the influenza epidemic of 1919. Grapefruit was advertised as a cure-all “flu diet,” and within 10 days, reported one publishers’ journal, “markets were swept bare” of the citrus. The grapefruit diet took off the 1930s as the “Hollywood diet,” and various iterations have popped up over the following decades under various names; it was synonymous with the “Mayo Clinic diet” in the 1940s and 50s, and by the 1980s, the diet was called the “10 day, 10 pounds off” diet. Grapefruit-only diets are considered an unhealthy approach to weight loss.