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White grapefruit have a bright yellow rind when ripe, are almost perfectly round and are roughly 8 to 13 centimeters in diameter. The pith is bright white, encompassing a pale yellow flesh. White grapefruit is very juicy, containing up to 75% juice. The flavor of White grapefruit is sweet with contrasting bitter and sour notes. White Grapefruit grow on dark-green leafy trees that reach an average of 6 meters in height.
White grapefruit is available year-round with a peak season in the late fall through the spring months.
White grapefruit is considered an heirloom and is botanically known as Citrus paradisi. White grapefruits are a natural cross between a pummelo and a sweet orange. There are two primary cultivars of the White grapefruit, Duncan and Marsh. Duncan is a seedy variety and was likely the original grapefruit variety introduced to Florida in the early 1800s. The second, Marsh, was the first seedless grapefruit and accounts for 40% of commercial grapefruit production in Florida.
White grapefruit contains high levels of vitamin C and potassium, as well as minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and copper. They are a good source of folate and dietary fiber as well as flavonoids, which work as antioxidants in the body and also provide anti-inflammatory benefits. White grapefruit is also a source for salicylic acid.
White grapefruits can be eaten raw or used in cooked applications. White grapefruit can be peeled, segmented and added raw to salads, salsas, and beverages. The juice can be used to make sorbets, granitas, shrubs, syrups, gastriques, vinaigrettes, and marinades. Use the rind to make marmalade or candied grapefruit peel. Store whole White grapefruit in the refrigerator for up to a month.
White grapefruit is most often commercially juiced, as it is the preferred variety for canned grapefruit juice, commonly served at restaurants, bars and on airplanes. With the introduction of the pink and ruby red grapefruit varieties, both fresh and commercially juiced White grapefruit fell out of favor among Americans. Historically, there has been a sizable market for White grapefruit in Japan, with the United States exporting almost 52,000 metric tons of fresh White grapefruits to Japan each year.
White grapefruits originated in the West Indies. They were first recorded by a Welsh explorer on the island of Barbados in the late 18th century, and later introduced to Florida from Jamaica in 1823. Over the next few decades, the White grapefruit citrus trees were planted in Texas and California. A natural mutation occurred on the rootstock planted in Texas, leading to the pink grapefruit variety. Once the pink variety was introduced, the white variety was relegated to the canning plants for juicing. Today, White grapefruit are limited in their availability, though they may be found at specialty stores and local farmer’s markets.
Recipes that include White Grapefruit. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The View from Great Island||White Grapefruit Vinegar|
|Melo Drama||White Grapefruit Palomas Cocktail Recipe|