A Little History
Just picked up a pommelo in my local supermarket from the exotic fruit section, where I’ve tried – and written about – lots of wonderful new tastes including dragon fruit, star fruit and pawpaw to name a few. So here’s another tip-of-the-hat to our readers in the tropics.
Pommelo (or pomelo) is a citrus fruit originally referred to as ‘shaddock,’ which derives from the explorer of the same name who first introduced the fruit to the West Indies and then to England. Most pommelo comes to us today from Southeast and Eastern Asia.
Believed to be the precursor to the grapefruit (probably a cross between a pommelo and an orange), the pommelo’s flavor is likened to a sweeter, less bitter grapefruit. It’s just a bit larger than a grapefruit. The tangelo is a hybrid created by cross breeding the pommelo with the tangerine.
The fruit of the pommelo is surrounded by bitter pith, which is usually discarded, and is pale white to pink in color, pink being less palatable.
Historically, the pommelo is mentioned in ancient Chinese literature and has been used to cure coughs, calm seizures, and reduce skin ulcers and rashes. To this day, Brazil produces a thick cough syrup from the bark and sap of the tree. The flowers are used in Viet Nam to create perfume, and lotions and soaps are made from its essential oils. The seeds of the pommelo are not wasted either, often ground down to produce a skin exfoliating product.
In recent research, it was demonstrated that bioflavonoids found in pommelos may reduce the risk of leukemia. Spermidine, according to laboratory studies, found in sperm, grapefruit and pommelos, may slow the aging process by creating a more efficient environment for human cells to live longer. Pommelos are rich in vitamin C which increases acidity in the urine which may assist in reducing urinary tract infections. Vitamin C has also been found to boost the immune system. Pommelos are also high in potassium which has proven beneficial effects on heart health and blood pressure.Prep Time: 5 minutes
Pomelo Juice Recipe: How to prepare
- 1 Pommelo
- 1 cup Coconut meat (or coconut milk or juice)
- 1 Banana
- 2 cups fresh baby Spinach (or any other leafy green)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 20 oz.
- The taste of the pommelo, like the grapefruit, complements other citrus fruit as well as tropical fruits such as coconut, kiwi and mango.
- I discard the pith and rind of the pommelo – too bitter for my taste, but edible and full of nutrients!
- Great recipe for a smoothie as well!