Grapefruit is one of the most popular citrus fruits in the US. It is famous for its mixture of sweetness and bitterness. This is also a versatile fruit because you can add it to fruit medleys, salads, and other recipes. Aside from being a delicious fruit, it is also nutritious because it is packed with antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals. That’s why in this article, we are going to talk about this fantastic fruit.
What is Grapefruit, and Where Does it Come From?
This bittersweet citrus fruit belongs to the Rutaceae family, which is known for its aromatic leaves and edible fruits. Grapefruit has the scientific name Citrus paradisi. Just like any other citrus fruits, the grapefruit grows on trees, and they grow better in tropical climates and sandy soil. Grapefruit trees can grow up to 20 feet tall, and in contrast to their name, it doesn’t look like a grape. This fruit has a yellow rind with a pulp that can either be light pink, yellow, or deep red. Each cluster of the grapefruit tree can produce up to 12-20 grapefruit at a time.
Today, grapefruit trees are grown across the United States. Still, the grapefruit we know now has evolved from a hybrid version from Jamaica. This fruit was popularized in the West Indies before it was brought in the United States. The first commercialized grapefruit in the US was grown in Florida. But today you can find grapefruit trees in other subtropical climates such as Arizona, Texas, and California
What are the Health Benefits of Grapefruit?
Just like any other citrus fruits, grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also packed with antioxidants. That’s why it helps the body metabolize protein efficiently, maintain collagen levels, which helps reduce signs of aging and helps the nerves in our body communicate well for muscle movements.
Aside from that, consuming grapefruit can also help reduce the risk of cataracts, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. It also helps boost the body’s immune system.
Grapefruit Types and Varieties
- Oro Blanco – This type of grapefruit is a crossover between a white grapefruit and a pomelo. It has a bright green to lemon yellow skin along with a thick rind and sweet flesh.
- Red Grapefruit –Supposedly, if it has redder flesh, it’s supposed to have a sweeter flavor. However, when it comes to red grapefruit, we think that it’s the least complex tasting and often bitter type of grapefruit. But on the other hand, the dark red color comes from lycopene, which is a cancer-fighting antioxidant.
- Pink Grapefruit – This type of grapefruit has a mild tangy sweetness, and it’s perfect for juicing. We consider the pink grapefruit to be the most palatable variety of grapefruit.
- White Grapefruit – This type of grapefruit has creamy yellow skin, and it is the least sweet grapefruit variety.
- Marsh Seedless – If you want a grapefruit that has the right balance of sweet and acidity, then we suggest that you try the seedless Marsh grapefruit. They come in pink and red varieties.
- Star Buy – This variety of grapefruit is considered to be the most photogenic grapefruit because it has that orange peel and perfect red-colored flesh. It also has a tart and sweet, balanced flavor to match its beautiful looks. Plus, this grapefruit has a higher juice content compared to other varieties, which makes it perfect for beverages and cocktails. Ruby Red – If you’re using grapefruit for cooking, then this variety is the ideal option for you. It has an overpowering sweetness that gently calms while you’re cooking it.
- Flame – This is a sweet variety of grapefruit. Consider this as a more intense version of the ruby red grapefruit. It is seedless and juicy at the same time. Plus, they are perfect for baking, too.
How to Select and Store Grapefruit
When you’re purchasing grapefruit, always go for the one that is free from cuts and bruises. A yellow rind can indicate that grapefruit is ripe and good enough to eat. You can store your grapefruit at room temperature for about a week, and refrigeration can help extend its shelf life by another week or two.