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Grapefruits are medium-large, oblate fruits with yellow or pink-yellow thick skin. They usually measure between three to five inches in diameter. Grapefruits are categorized as white, pink, and ruby, based on their flesh color. Some varieties are seedless, while others have up to fifty seeds. The flavor is tart and tangy but sweet.
Grapefruits are available year-round.
The grapefruit is a citrus that is a cross between an orange and a pomelo, with the botanical name Citrus paradisi. The common name of grapefruit comes from Jamaica, where locals referred to the way the fruit grew in clusters like grapes. Grapefruits are one of the most popular cultivated fruits in the United States. There are over twenty varieties growing in the US alone.
Grapefruit is very high in Vitamin C—a single grapefruit half supplies the entire daily recommended value of this vitamin, and also contains fiber, beta carotene, and Vitamin A. Red and pink grapefruits additionally contain lycopene, a substance that fights free radicals and protects cells from damage.
Most people enjoy grapefruit fresh as a snack or for breakfast. Slice them in half and scoop out the halved sections with a spoon, or peel like an orange and divide into sections. Grapefruit juice is also delicious, and the fruit can be used in salad recipes, with seafood, or in sauces. The best grapefruits are firm, have smooth skins, and are heavy for their size. They should smell slightly sweet. Store them at room temperature for a week or in the refrigerator crisper for up to three weeks.
Grapefruits are the only known citrus to have originated in the Americas, and their production remains concentrated in this hemisphere. Florida alone produces two million tons of grapefruits a year.
Grapefruits were only discovered by the world at large relatively recently, but became popular quickly. They were growing in the Caribbean island of Barbados by the eighteenth century. People brought grapefruits to the Florida in the early- to mid-1800s, where they became a commercial crop a few decades later. Today, grapefruits are grown commercially in Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas in the US, and in South Africa, Israel, and Brazil.
Recipes that include Grapefruit. One is easiest, three is harder.
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