Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fruit of the month: white pomelo

This month, I decided to shake up my usual "veggie of the month" routine by going for a fruit instead. On our latest trip to the H-Mart, I didn't see any veggies that were new to me and looked appealing, but I did spot a bin full of white pomelos, which I'd never tried before. Brian was familiar with them already, so I ended up getting just one, like so:

Looks just like a grapefruit, doesn't it? But when you slice it open (which Brian recommended as an alternative to peeling it), the difference becomes apparent:

Yeah, I'm glad I didn't try to peel off that thick rind by hand. I just sliced it into quarters and ate them right out of hand (getting a lot of juice on myself in the process).

The flavor was...well, I'm not honestly sure how to describe it. It was rather like a grapefruit, but without that distinctive bitter undertone that grapefruits have, and with a hint of another flavor in the background that didn't seem citrusy to me at all. After a few bites, I identified it as banana, of all things. Brian says that particular flavor comes from amyl acetate, which Wikipedia says is also a component of an apple's flavor—which fits, since the taste of the pomelo was also vaguely reminiscent of apples to me. I must confess that I didn't eat any part of the peel, although the Organic Authority site says it's actually very nice for candying or making into marmalade.

So, would I buy this fruit again? Well, I suppose I might, if I found a good deal on it. But since it's a citrus fruit, it's not grown locally, and if I'm going to buy a fruit shipped all the way from Florida or California, I think I'd prefer to stick with the more familiar citrus varieties, like oranges, clementines, and tangelos (a hybrid of the pomelo with a tangerine, which I like better than either of its parents). I like their flavor better on the whole, and they're definitely a lot easier to manipulate.
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