HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


How do you eat your grapefruit?

Peel and wedge like an orange or dive in with a spoon? I'm in the latter group but always cut it the same way that my grandmother and mother always did for me as a child - fruit halved, then use a small knife to cut along the sides of each wedge and the base near the rind, then use a spoon to scoop out the wedge - and then finish by flipping the fruit inside out to get all of the remaining bits. Now that I typed it out, it seems like a lot of steps but I guess there's some nostalgia to it. Peeled and wedged like an orange never seems to bring the same satisfaction.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Peel, then separate into individual sections, then peel each section by hand and eat them entirely. It is a lot of work, but the only thing wasted are the membranes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      That's how I do it too Tripeler. It can get a little sloppy but I have the system down pat

      1. re: mfb237

        so funny, exactly my experience! I have just fallen in love w/ pink/red grpfrt and the uniquely satisfying juiciness of them. My Dad used to cut around @ section when i was little, but i find that a very unsatisfying process.

        Have you had the 'famous' "sweetest" grapefruit from Texas? Long ago i was told about them by a TX friend, who also said their small harvest usually stays in TX. Someone said they have gone out of season now, so i have been trying a number of diff ones from FL lately and am hoping the supply will last, but do you know what the season is? and do you have preferences in origin?

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          I peel the grapefruit like an orange and eat the segments, membrane and all (not the seeds!). I have been eating Texas grapefruit as long as I can remember. They are still available at Monterey Market in Berkeley as of Sunday.

    2. Peel and eat the sections. My grandmother used to offer grapefruit halves and she had a special knife and spoons to cut and segment. Haven't had that in many, many years.

        1. I cut it in half, then use a regular spoon to get the wedges out. I slip it down on the left side, then, while keeping it pushed to the bottom, swing it around against the rind side and over against the right-hand membrane and pop the wedge out. This actually gets most of the wedges out in one piece, and I don't feel like I need a knife. Then I use the spoon to scrape out what's left of the pulp into a bowl, then squeeze the juice into the bowl (there's not much juice left after I've scraped the pulp out).

          1. Supreme, or cut in half along the equator, run a blade thu segments to free the meat, scoop and eat with spoon, squeeze the leavings in a glass and drink

            2 Replies
            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              Same here. Either supreme or cut in half. Very rarely peel and eat..

            2. I use a spoon designed for the purpose.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Exactly as everyone in my family did. I still have the little serrated edge spoons but they just sit there. I throw grapefruit out of the window.

              2. Peel
                Cut segments into small bite size pieces
                Squeeze every last bit of juice into bowl
                Add 1 tbsp granulated sugar into bowl
                Mix to dissolve a bit
                Put bite size grapefruit pieces into bowl
                Enjoy with spoon

                This takes up most of my day. But worth it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: magic

                  Oh, magic, will you make me one right now? ;) Sounds perfect to me. Grapefruit is probably my favorite fruit flavor.

                2. Usually I eat one like an orange, either peel or slice into wedges with a knife.

                  My favorite is to slice into disk shapes, sprinkle with brown sugar and optionally herbs or nuts and broil.

                  1. With a very thin fresh pureed mint sauce or grilled.

                    1. My rx bottle says no to grapefruit, but I can't resist the first of the season Texas Reds. I treat myself to a couple, eaten exactly as you do.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                        NOT a good idea. With the grapefruit-interaction drugs, the effect is as if you took too much medication. This can be quite dangerous. Much as I love grapefruit, I have not been able to have them in many years. Even threw out my curved, serrated grapefruit knife (I never had much success with grapefruit spoons).

                        1. re: greygarious

                          You just reminded me of a Six Feet Under episode, but it was cling peaches. I had no idea the interaction was as bad as taking too much medication.


                          I like ruby reds best in a margarita, though they are quite delish when I have the patience to sit and eat one with a serrated grapefruit spoon.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            Good news/ bad news reply:
                            1. Long-time fan of grapefruit, tho haven't eaten one in years (see #2). The only way to eat one: cut it in half, take a small knife or serrated knife and cut around each triangled section of the grapefruit. (Did someone call this "supreming?") Sprinkle with sugar, The sections are ready for effortless digging in with any teaspoon. After eating the grapefruit, squeeze the leftover juice into the bowl for slurp-drinking or into a glass for more civilized drinking. Enjoy.
                            2. My cholesterol health-food store alternative to cholesterol medicine apparently should not be taken with grapefruit. I think I could get away with doing grapefruit about 4 hours away from taking my cholesterol stuff, but I will not take the chance. Boy, do I miss them. I do agree with another poster- our chat on the internet is one thing, but when in doubt- always check with the Doc.
                            3. My out-of-state sister has shipped us a box of grapefruit for Christmas for the past 2- 3 years. I don't have the heart to tell her I can't or won't indulge. My wife will have 'em. I'm jealous.

                            1. re: Florida Hound

                              Supremes are when you cut the peel off the whole fruit, then cut between the membranes to free each segment, whole yet without any pith or membrane.

                            2. re: greygarious

                              My mother had a decades-long half-grapefruit-a-day breakfast habit that was cut short due to Rx interaction. She now buys the largest oranges she can get from her local (California) farmers' market and eats a half for breakfast, which she sections with her grapefruit knife and eats the same way.

                              Serrated grapefruit spoons are dangerous, as far as I'm concerned. Grapefruit knife all the way for me.

                                1. re: Kontxesi

                                  Potentially destructive to the mouth, at least if you're me.

                              1. re: greygarious

                                IIRC, it can increase the absorption rate by as much as 400%, depending on the meds.

                              2. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                Hopefully I don't need to say this...but check with your MD rather than taking medical advice on the internet. Perhaps this was just a good reminder to mention/ask about food/drug interactions on your next visit.

                                Back on topic:

                                Love grapefruit. Also eat it cut in half and sectioned.

                                I have a weird thing about the serrated "grapefruit spoons": they hurt my mouth! But I feel a little "Princess and the Pea" mentioning that,

                                1. re: pedalfaster

                                  When I was taking my pharmacology class during my physical therapy grad school courses, the instructor had one big point. Basically, "ladies, those magic pills you take to keep away the babies won't be so magical if you have grapefruit"

                                  1. re: pedalfaster

                                    You needn't bother your M.D. - just read the precautions on the labels and package inserts of your meds and supplements! Or is that reminder "medical advice" too?

                                2. Its a weekend breakfast for me since its a little labor intensive....
                                  I cut in half, sprinkle with a little raw sugar and stick under the broiler until that colors.
                                  Then i use the only uni-task silverwear i own, my grapefruit spoon, and scoop out each wedge.
                                  When done i squeeze the remaining juice into a glass and add some seltzer water since its not a lot of juice.

                                  I'll make supremes to add to salads with fennel, but the interactive aspect of eating it is a big part of the enjoyment for me :)

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    Broiled grapefruit is SO delicious. I do it in the toaster oven, with brown sugar and a sprinkling of Angostura bitters.

                                    1. re: jdub1371

                                      Yep. Same here. Brown sugar under the broiler. Eaten with a grapefruit spoon in a bowl just the right size to cradle the grapefruit half. Squeeze the extra juice into the bowl, and slurp it down.

                                  2. Growing up as 1 of 5 kids in CT, our mom would halve them, lovingly cut the segments all around, drizzle a little honey on them, and broil a few minutes to juice them up.
                                    Now that I am in Florida with endless free grapefruit, I juice them all. There's almost too many, and I really like grapefruit juice.

                                    1. I cut them in half through the equator. Then I cut each half into 4 wedges. Then I eat the flesh off the rind. This exposes the flesh without a lot of membrane.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Becca Porter

                                        Exactly what I used to do Becca - every day almost. Sadly I have silent acid reflux (Gerd but with no pain) and grapefruit is a no no. As a previous poster did, I ate it anyway. Suffice to say the voice suffered.

                                      2. Room temperature. Or broiled, if I want to bother. I discovered a few years back that chilled is the way I like it the least.

                                        1. I like RED grapefruit however I can get it: supremed, juiced, halved, quartered, peeled, etc. (I prefer to avoid chewing/consuming the membrane if possible).

                                          1. I haven't eaten a grapefruit more than 1-2 times since I was a kid.

                                            My favv way is juiced in tiki cocktails!

                                            1. I remember when family style places around here USED to have fruit salad and they included grapefruit supremes. Some would include orange supremes and tangerine supremes.

                                              At home it was moms way of cutting in half and knife / spooning as you described.

                                              I made exactly ONCE a broiled grapefruit. Sugar topped and broiled.

                                              Today, it depends on how I feel. Peel and wedge has become a simple and less messy way for me...

                                              1. Peel and wedge like an orange. Anything else other than juicing is a waste of good grapefruit, unless it's a brulee in the broiler. That's good eats.

                                                1. Adding- I thnk the whole halved fruit with the grapfruit spoon is an absurdity that I can't believe ever caught on.

                                                  1. peel and peel each segment

                                                    1. as a kid, it was always yellow grapefruit, cut in half, sprinkled with sugar, cut around the edges with a knife, scooped with a spoon. now i eat 99% ruby grapefruits, no sugar but same method, every now and then with a healthy grind of cracked black pepper. but i've also eaten them like an orange - peeled, sectioned, segments popped into mouth, membrane and all. i've even sometimes eaten them the other way i will sometimes eat an orange - cut in half, half held in hand, big bite with upper teeth into flesh, pulling the sections out and into mouth - very juicy! fold grapefruit half in half and squeeze any remaining juice into mouth. only problem with this method is the bitterness of the rind hurts the edges of my mouth (much the same as with the blood oranges i've been devouring lately). but there is no wrong way, for me, to eat grapefruits.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        Pepper- sounds most interesting. Must try it.

                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                          Broiled first and then sprinkled with a grind of black pepper is da bomb!

                                                      2. We received a box of grapefruit for Christmas and I decided to try something different. I would have it again if someone else did the prep.

                                                        1. I used to have trouble eating grapefruit. I remember trying to eat grapefruit using the narrow spoons with the serrated edges at the tip. Afterwards the rind and membranes left on the plate looked like a crime scene. I really did not eat too much grapefruit until about a dozen years ago. (More about that later.)

                                                          I finally found a gadget to eat grapefruit!

                                                          The silly looking thing really does work. You cut the grapefruit in half at the equator, just as you would for the serrated spoon and/or knife, insert this device and close the handle. The thing separates the grapefruit flesh from the membranes and the pith in one motion. It looks like a pruning tool, but it does work, on the standard sections that is. If the grapefruit has odd sized sections, as they all do, it does not work so well.

                                                          I started to eat grapefruit, mostly in the spring, because my dad started to bring it home from my parents' winter home in Arizona. They have a ruby red grapefruit tree. My dad also brought home a lot of pink grapefruit and some white grapefruit. I'm talking like a dozen cases of fruit each year.

                                                          Last winter, my father donated 3 TONS of grapefruit to the food bank. No, not from one tree. He is a snowbird from Minnesota and is the leader of a group of retired guys who go citrus fruit picking two mornings a week. Many of the subdivisions for housing were built on former orange and grapefruit groves. These guys go to people's yards and pick their fruit, clean up the yard and get to keep the fruit. There was one widow lady who has 40 grapefruit trees. They like the oranges more than the grapefruit, and of course the lemon trees are prized. They come back to their park with at least two pickup loads of fruit twice a week. They keep some, give some away to people in their trailer park, give some to the Hispanic workers in the park and donate the rest. There usually are not any oranges left over, but lots of grapefruit.

                                                          The real way I eat a grapefruit is to supreme it. If you can filet a fish, you can filet a grapefruit. I just cut both ends off, then I cut the rind and pith off on a cutting board and then I put the knife next to the membrane and slice down, turn the knife up and the grapefruit section comes out whole. After I get all of the sections out, I squeeze the membrane of juice and do another grapefruit. Once I got the hang of it, I can supreme a large grapefruit in about two minutes. I have a real hard time paying money for grapefruit anymore.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                              I LOVE stories about older people who do such great things, major giving back efforts. Thx so much for telling about him. Those Minnesotans are a hard working breed!

                                                            2. I don't plan it out like this but if I have tarragon or chervil laying around I like to eat it with grapefruit (halved and then segments removed with a normal spoon). Sometimes I just peel and eat by hand. It helps if you're fine with eating some pith.

                                                              1. We often had grapefruit with breakfast when I was a kid, and it was always halved, loosened with a knife, sprinkled with sugar, and scooped out with grapefruit spoons. (I've never met anyone else IRL who owns those.)

                                                                I don't eat them anymore, ever since I was on meds with a big "DON'T EAT GRAPEFRUIT" warning on them.

                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                    JM - There you are! Wondered where you'd been...

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      I'm still here! I just track dinner ideas in greener pastures. Preferably ones where they serve salty dogs.

                                                                  2. I love grapefruit. My favorite new prep is scooped out with a grapefruit knife, then mixed with banana slices and whole raw almonds (and oranges or tangerines when I have). Any leftover juice gets squeezed on top. I've been meaning to try it with mint leaves.

                                                                    1. Usually just supreme with a bit of torn mint and drizzle of honey. There's an Asian style suck and grapefruit salad I saved and have wanted to try forever. I need to get on that!

                                                                      1. barrel cut and then cut into supremes

                                                                        1. You don't "eat" grapefruit. You squeeze out the juice and toss it over your shoulder. Ideally, it should be squeezed into a large plastic cup of ice and Tito's vodka.

                                                                          1. LOVE GRAPEFRUIT.
                                                                            ruby red my fave-moms RR's really my faves

                                                                            in supremes
                                                                            juice squeezed