By Peggy Crum, RD, Health4U Nutritionist
Just when we northerners need fresh fruit and a dose of sunshine the most, great mounds of grapefruit appear in the grocery stores. Coming to market from Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, grapefruit is always in season somewhere in the U.S. These growing regions overlap seasons from February through June making grapefruit especially plentiful during the winter and spring months. The freshest, juiciest grapefruit have smooth skins and are heavy for size. They will keep for a week on the countertop but maintain their quality for several weeks when kept in the refrigerator.
- Originated in the Caribbean, a natural cross between a sweet orange and a pummelo.
- Whether the pulp is white or red, the flavor does not vary all that much.
- Several fruits are hybrids of grapefruit including Minneola tangelo, Ugli fruit, and Oroblanco.
- Grapefruit tend to grow in clusters—like grapes—on trees; this may explain their name!
Grapefruit are renowned for their sweet-tart taste that includes a moderate amount of bitterness. Although the bitter taste lessens as the fruit ripens, it remains prominent in the rind and pith (white part of the peel). Follow these steps to peel away the bitterness:
- Hold the grapefruit steady on a cutting board and slice off both ends of the fruit.
- Set the fruit on one of its now-flat ends. Use a downward cut following the curve of the fruit to shave away the peel going just deep enough to reveal the flesh.
- Go back over the fruit and remove any remaining bits of pith.
- Working over a bowl, hold the fruit like a ball in your hand. Carefully cut toward the center of the fruit along each side of the membrane that divides the flesh into segments. Allow the loosened segments to fall into the bowl.
- Give the remains a good squeeze to extract the rest of the juice.
- Sweeten to your delight.
Grapefruit Brûlée will be served for lunch at The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips, Brody Square and Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall on Wednesday, February 22. Join us in the Brody Square demonstration kitchen at 12:10 p.m. on February 22 to see Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski make the recipe.