In appreciation of the pomelo

What do you do with one of the world’s biggest citrus? It sounds like there should be a punch line, but there isn’t – you just eat it (I bet it would be amazing in punch).

Pomelo is amazing, and one of my favourite fruits. It’s a wild citrus from Asia, and is indeed the largest of the citrus fruits. We first encountered a pomelo last citrus season, from Food Connect. We weren’t quite sure what to do with it in the beginning; it sat on the table for a couple of weeks before we consulted the Wholefoods Companion and broke it apart. (The pomelo, not the book.)

Pomelo with a fan

Inside, the thick pith of the pomelo surrounds segments of juicy citrus bubbles. The tasty fruit is gentle yellow in colour, and tastes just as it looks: sweet and fresh and not at all bitter like its relative the grapefruit. The pithy membrane which separates the segments is, however, quite bitter and should not be eaten. The size of the fruit, the thick pith, and the unpalatable membranes mean that eating a pomelo is not a brief undertaking… But once sliced it in half and with the fruit starting to piece apart, I find it can become quite meditative. After successfully separating the fruit from the pith the reward of a mouthful of this transcendent citrus is just the best.

Cut pomelo

I love the idea of embarking on creative culinary adventures with the pomelo sometime, though I find I can’t bear to forgo the enjoyment of eating it fresh. Please try your best to get your hands on one of the fruit of the biggest citrus in the world. It’s great to share with a handful of folks, and comes with the novelty of being …wait for it… the biggest citrus in the world.