Grapefruit

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The grapefruit is one of the first GMO fruits to thrive in the United States. It was a natural hybrid between a pummelo and a sweet orange in Barbados. The grapefruit wasn’t well-received in Florida when it arrived there in 1823. With the original grapefruits being tart and sour, fruit lovers that grew up on the taste of sweet oranges weren’t sold on the fruit and it was relegated to being a minor crop. It wasn’t until a mutation of the plant in Texas that produced red-fleshed grapefruit that was sweet did the grapefruit gain popularity. Today, the USA is the world’s leading producer of grapefruits with Florida producing the bulk of the supply.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Genus: Citrus
  • Species: C. x paradisi
  • Binomial name: Citrus x paradisi

Grapefruit Trivia

  • National Grapefruit Month is February.
  • Grapefruit flesh comes in many colors, red, white, pink, and golden.
  • Grapefruit are never machine picked even though they are very hardy fruits.
  • The grapefruit is one of the Seven Wonders of Barbados

Grapefruit Buying Guide

Choose grapefruits that feel hefty or heavy for its size. Color is also an important thing to look out for when choosing grapefruits. Choose grapefruits that have an almost golden-colored skin with a rosy blush.

The grapefruit should be firm all over. Avoid grapefruits with soft spots as this can be an indication of mold. The coloration of the fruit should be uniform the way through, avoid fruits with obvious discoloration.

Grapefruit Production & Farming in Texas

Texas exclusively grows the red-fleshed grapefruit variants such as the Ruby Red, Rio Red, and Henderson/Ray. All of these variants were discovered and developed in Texas and are seedless, with varying red hues in the peel.

The Ruby Red was first discovered in 1929 as a random mutation and was the first grapefruit to receive a US patent.

The Henderson and Ray variants are virtually indistinguishable from each other. Both variants were mutations from Ruby Red trees and were discovered in the 70s. Both these variants taste essentially the same as the Ruby red, except that their exterior is visually more attractive than that of the Ruby Red.

The Rio Red/Rio Star was discovered in 1976, as a limb sport from a Ruby Red budwood that was irradiated. The result was flesh that was almost twice as red as the Henderson varieties and has more of a reddish hue on the peel than the other variants.

Pesticides:

Generally speaking, consuming commercial grapefruit is considered “ok” for those who are trying to avoid pesticide residues as it is considered to be one of the fruits that are relatively free from residues. This is because the grapefruit has a rather thick rind that prevents pesticide contamination of the flesh inside.

You don’t NEED to buy organic grapefruits to avoid pesticides on your food, but it’s always a good idea to support your local farmers and buy organic if possible.

Geography:

Grapefruits can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 through 10, which is basically the southern part of Texas. Grapefruit plants need loam soil that is well-drained. Full sun is also required for the grapefruit to flourish and to flower well. Grapefruits, especially ruby reds that are popular in Texas, are especially vulnerable to frost. So if you plan on growing grapefruit in an area known to have late frosts, be sure to add some sort of protection for your plants.

Packaging:

Since Grapefruits are very hardy fruits, very little protective packaging is used on the fruit. It is wasteful though that instead of minimizing the packaging used for grapefruit, some sellers use elaborate gift boxes to display the grapefruit in a more attractive way.

Farmers’ markets and roadside markets that sell organic grapefruit on the other hand simply stack the grapefruit for the customers to choose and purchase.

Eating Grapefruits

There are a couple of ways you can eat the grapefruit raw. The first way is you can peel them like oranges and separate the flesh from the inner skin. This can take a while but it will be worth it in the long run if you’re careful.

The second and easier way to enjoy grapefruits is to just cut them in half horizontally and then scoop out the flesh with a regular spoon or with one of those specialized grapefruit spoons that have serrated edges for easier cutting of the flesh.

Storage:

Grapefruits can be stored at room temperature for up to a week without problems. If you have a lot of grapefruit or you just want to keep them for longer, they can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

To freeze grapefruit, you have to remove them from the skin and the pith (the white inner “skin”) before freezing them. Remember to freeze them in a single layer to avoid sticking before transferring to a freezer bag.

Cooking:

Grapefruits are best enjoyed raw, and they can be used as toppings for any dessert or type of salad. They can also be juiced or added to beverages to add a bit of a tangy and bitter kick to them. Grapefruits can also be broiled, grilled, and baked for a unique dessert. Grapefruit doesn’t work very well in pies, but they can be used in bread and cakes.

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • Grapefruit is a low carb fruit that can be enjoyed by everyone, even by people who have diabetes as it has a low glycemic load.
    • Grapefruit is also low in calories, another good reason to pick grapefruit as your fruit snack of choice.
  • Fiber
    • Most of the fiber in grapefruit is insoluble fiber, this helps in keeping bowel movements regular by absorbing liquid in the intestinal tract and bulking up stool for easier passage.
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • Grapefruits contain 60% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C per 100g serving. This helps in boosting your immune system and fights against opportunistic infections like the flu or the common cold.
    • Vitamin C in grapefruits also facilitates skin repair and cell regeneration.

Warning: If you’re taking medication, consult with your doctor first before consuming grapefruit as grapefruit consumption may interfere with the metabolism of certain medication.

When Is Grapefruit in Season in Texas?

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  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • Oktober
  • November
  • December

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Buy Local Farmfresh Grapefruit in Texas Directly from the Producer

mapMarkerGreyCanton

Bourquin Farms and Produce

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Edmonds Farms

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End of the Road Ranch

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Engert Farms

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Marshall Farms

mapMarkerGreyHouston

Old School Produce

mapMarkerGreyConroe

Red Gate Farms Poultry

mapMarkerGreyBrownsville

Resaca Grove Farm

mapMarkerGreyMission

South Tex Organics

mapMarkerGreyMcAllen

Strohmeyer Family Farm DBA G&S Groves

mapMarkerGreyGarwood

Sunshine Chicken Farm

mapMarkerGreyHarlingen

Tierra Viva Farm

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Triple J Organics