One reason you may never have heard of pomelo fruit (also known as shaddock, pummelo, pamplemousse or Chinese grapefruit) is because California-grown pomelos are only in season for a short time during the winter between December and February. Pomelos are native to Southeast Asia where they’re at their peak between November and March.
A pomelo fruit actually looks like an insanely overgrown grapefruit — the skin and pith are quite thick and the flesh ranges from white to pale pink. In fact, they are probably an ancient ancestor of the grapefruit we eat today. The modern grapefruit is most likely a hybrid of a pomelo and an orange. When we’re talking about pomelos, good things come in extra-large packages. It’s the biggest citrus fruit and can weigh as much as 25 pounds and measure twelve inches around! It not only looks like grapefruit, but it tastes a lot like one too but without the bitterness. Can it get any better? Yes! Pomelo nutrition is oversized too.
Pomelo fruit is not perfect
They’re low-cal and have virtually no fat. What they do have is over 600% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 25% percent of daily fiber and 37% of potassium. You probably won’t be able to eat an entire pomelo fruit at once but even a quarter of it packs a serious nutritional punch. Pomelos help to boost your immune system, lower blood pressure and improve digestion. Like grapefruit, they can help with weight-loss too since they also contain the enzyme, carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1, which increases your body’s ability to burn fat. On the flip side, all that pomelo nutrition comes with the same health risks as grapefruit.
They can be harmful to people with kidney or liver disease and they can lower blood pressure too much. Pomelos also interact badly with certain medications (like blood thinners) or decrease the effects of some allergy medications and antidepressants. Enjoy the juicy goodness of pomelo fruit au naturale or try one of these scrumptious recipes featuring our favorite king-size winter citrus.