Food Friday: Grapefruit

1 10 2010

Richard: I always start my breakfast off with half a grapefruit. It’s important to start the day off correctly, Lorelai. A grapefruit is brainfood. It has vitamin C, folic acid, and it helps with your digestion. It really is a terrific fruit.

Lorelai: I feel like you’re about to break into song.

-quote from “Richard in Stars Hollow” from Gilmore Girls

 

Grapefruit really is a terrific fruit. Sweet, with just the right amount of tang, they always make me feel healthy and refreshed, in warm weather or cool. It’s even primarily grown in the South, with major orchards in Texas and Florida. Today, on Food Friday, let’s take a look at this familiar citrus fruit, and learn a few tips about purchasing and preparing the grapefruit.

  • Ever wondered why it’s called “grapefruit” when it tastes and looks nothing like grapes? Well, the name refers to the shape in which it grows. The fruits grow in clusters on the trees, similar to how grapes look on the vine.
  • Choose fruit with thin, finely-textured skin, It should be springy but firm to the palm. If it feels heavy for its size, it’s probably quite juicy!
  • Store at room temperature for 2 days, or refrigerate in plastic for up to 2 weeks.
  • Roll the grapefruit with your palm against a countertop for a few seconds before you eat. This will help break the fruit from the rind and create a jucier fruit.
  • We’ve all had the experience of juice in the eye/face/shirt while enjoying a grapefruit, but using the right tools — an inexpensive grapefruit knife and special spoon — will free the flesh from the rind and give you more fruit for your work. The knife is flexible, and the spoon has a serrated tip that allows you to cut away and scoop the flesh as you eat.
  • If your grapefruit rocks on your plate while eating, simply cut a small slice of the peel off the bottom to make a flat edge.
  • When peeling a grapefruit for a salad, make sure all the white pith is removed. Make this easier by heating  the whole grapefruit for a few minutes in boiling water, then peeling once it’s cool.
  • If you find your grapefruit is slightly more acidic than you’d prefer, lightly salt to temper the tang.
  • Grapefruit is in season from October to June (which means we’re just at the very beginning of season!).

While grapefruit is great all by itself, here are a few more ideas for this terrific fruit.

  • When a salad dressing calls for lemon juice or even vinegar, substitute grapefruit juice instead as a variation.
  • Substitute grapefruit for tomato in your homemade salsa and serve with fish or pork.
  • Hollow out a grapefruit half for an individual serving bowl. (Actually, the thicker-skinned grapefruits work best for these.) Then place the skins in a bowl of ice water to further firm before serving. Blot dry before serving fruit salad in it, or try this Pink Grapefruit Blueberry Sorbet recipe.

Now, you’re allowed to break into song, if you wish! 

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2 responses

2 10 2010
Suwannee Refugee

Most folks like the pink grapefruit, but don’t forget about the poorer Duncan grapefruit.

4 10 2010
southrnsuga

hmmm…I wonder if my grapefruit tree is a Duncan? I have never even heard of them. Thanks for that…my father and I are now curious.

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