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ISO Chinese "grapefruit"

  • s

Been longing for a fruit I first tasted in Macau a few years back... looks a lot like grapefruit (skin is more yellowish than green) but the meat is sweet -- not bitter/tart like grapefruit. I spotted something in Oakland Chinatown last week that looked just like it and purchased one, but alas! I came home and found out it was just grapefruit. Anyone know what it is called and/or where I can find it? Thanks!

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    1. I've seen those at the Japanese supermarket on the south side of Post east of Fillmore. I have not been in there in a month or so though. They are not grapefruit, but I forget the name.

      1. I think you want a pomelo. The flesh is not as juicy, nor as tart as a grapefruit. The top kind of comes to point instead of being round. I've see them around Oakland Chinatown in the past: Orient Market?

        There is a story in my family of how my mother or one of her siblings put a pomelo skin on the head of her grandfather, the family patriarch.

        1. If you're looking for pomelo, they're all over the Bay Area in season, which runs from roughly November to March.

          1. It's pomelo, but the pomelos we find in the US are way different from the ones imported. I've only seen the Asian ones which are yellow and smaller in size, sometimes smaller than a grapefruit. I've only seen the imported ones at 99 ranch once last year. I suppose you can try 99 ranch.

            1. Monterey Market in Berkeley usually has pomelos.

              1. Yeah Pomelo's are all over the place in the bay area when in season. You find a lot of them in Chinatown's near Chinese New Years. Costco also stocks them as well.

                1. Growing up in Hawaii, my mom would get pomelo's from a neighbor who had a tree full of them. They grew pretty big so the tree's branches would always be sagging. I used to like eating them growing up because the fruit wasn't as juicy so you could eat the sections without making a big mess, but still get the sweet tart flavor. Hmmm. It's big for Chinese New Year so expect to see them in Chinatown in a couple of months.

                  1. Nothing beats a communal dessert of chilled pomelo sections. It's a bit of a hassle to trim away all the membrane beforehand, but the result is well worth it.

                    1. Hamada Family stand at Ferry Plaza has them in season. Haven't seen them yet this year.

                      1. Thanks for everyone's suggestions... I've tried to find this fruit the last couple of years, but every winter when I browse Chinatown on weekends and buy these, I get home and find: grapefruit. Maybe I just can't seem to find them? They are sweet, like sweet oranges... not bitter nor tart. Odd... that time in Macau I was looking for grapefruit at a sidewalk stand, and got this amazingly sweet and juicy fruit instead. Oh well, back to the browsing in Chinatown for another try.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: S U

                          The best pomelo I've had was a pink variety grown by Lisle Babcock. Also the sections came apart more easily.

                          Last season I also tried several other Sunkist brand pink pomelos. These were not of as high a standard, but still delicious. They improved with aging and tasted better if I kept them in a cool place for a week after buying them.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Saw the first pomelos this season --- Sunkist pink pomelos at Andy's Produce in Sebastopol.

                        2. I was at the baggage claim area in Seattle a couple of years ago when a cardboard box came out of the chute, broke open, and spilled pomelos all over the place. A tiny old man was attempting to gather them together (with many helpers) when a woman next to me said, "Hm, those look pretty good. You can't get good pomelos in this country unless you pay at least $5 each."

                          I, apparently having much lower standards, love most of the ones I get at Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market. The trouble is that I don't know how to tell if they're good ones or not. With a Rio Star grapefruit, I can usually tell by heft. The fruit part of the pomelo is so far inside you can't really tell. Are there any tips?

                          1. Some interesting citrus trivia to add the pomelo disscussion:

                            The grapefruit is a cross between a pomelo and an orange.

                            1. There is a Cantonese dish where they just cook the rind and it melts in your mouth. My grandma use to make this and the family use to tell us there were many steps on how to make it really taste good. But today people use shortcuts. No one in the family ever figured out or remembered how she did it but it would come out a green color and even chefs in Hong Kong had to admit she was good.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: designerboy01

                                I think my paw paw use to make something similar. She always had pomelo skins drying.