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Saturday, February 11, 2017


Yesterday while in the grocery store I saw a display of grapefruits from Texas. This brought back great memories of my uncle Bill and his trips to Texas. Each year for a few weeks in the winter he would travel from his home in Illinois to Texas where his sisters lived. The trip was one that always meant he would bring back goodies. Two of the things we could count on him bringing back were grapefruits and oranges from Texas.

Grapefruits come in a variety of flavors from a tart like a lemon to a sweetness of an orange. My memory recalls the pink grapefruits from Texas being so super sweet. The perfect snap or zing to every bite as well. Grapefruits are great in sweet and savory dishes. I do not recall my mother making  many meals with grapefruits but my grandmother loved to cook with them

Grapefruits grow October through May. This is why uncle Bill could easily find them on his winter trip. We would keep them on the front porch of our Illinois home where winter was cold. Grapefruits will stay a few weeks at room temperature. If kept chilled like on our front porch or in the fridge you can keep grapefruits good up to 2 months.

Like flavor grapefruits will come in three primary shades as well white, pink and red. The lycopene that is found in tomatoes is also found in grapefruits. The lycopene is an antioxidant that is good for our health as well. Select the perfect grapefruit by selecting one heavy for size and a smooth rather bumpy skin. The bumpy skin and heaviness indicates the fruit will be juicy.

Many believe that the grapefruit is a cross between the Jamaican sweet orange and a pomelo fruit. The grapefruit was known as "the forbidden fruit" in and around the late 1700s to early 1800s in Barbados. Reverend Griffith Hughes from Barbados named the grapefruit as such. Today some refer to the grapefruit as one of "Seven Wonders of Barbados"

The Trunk, Leaves, and Flowers of this Tree, very much resemble
those of the Orange-tree.
The Fruit, when ripe, is something longer and larger than the largest
Orange; and exceeds, in the Delicacy of its Taste, the Fruit of every
Tree in this or any of our neighbouring Islands.
It hath somewhat of the Taste of a Shaddock; but far exceeds that, as
well as the best Orange, in its delicious Taste and Flavour.
—Description from Hughes' 1750 Natural History of Barbados.

Florida was gifted with the grapefruit plant when Odet Phillippe brought it to Safety Harbor in 1823. The tangelo fruit was produced in the same manner around 1905. 

Until the 19th century the grapefruit was known as the shaddock. The name grapefruit generates from the look of the fruit resembling grapes on a vine. The American citrus industry pioneer Kimball Chase Atwood founded the Atwood Grapefruit Co in late 19th century. It grew to where 80,000 boxes of grapefruit were shared each year.

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