Rio Red Grapefruit

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Just as the Ruby Red Grapefruit was a mutation from the original grapefruit trees, the Rio Red Grapefruit is a mutation from the Ruby Red. The Rio Red has a deeper color than the Ruby Red, it is less acidic, and is sweeter. The Rio Red Grapefruit is also rounder in shape than most grapefruits as well as being juicier than the other variants. This is a long way from the first grapefruits that were found to have whiteish flesh, very acidic taste, and extreme tartness.

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

Rio Red Grapefruit Trivia

  • The Rio Red Grapefruit is one of the most popular breakfast fruits in America.
  • Grapefruit peel oils are used in aromatherapy as well as an essential oil.
  • The Rio Red Grapefruit has more water than almost any other fruit in the world and on par with the watermelon.

Rio Red Grapefruit Buying Guide

If you’re in the market for Rio Red Grapefruit, look for fruits with perfectly yellow skin with a pink blush on it. Choose fruits that feel heavy for their size, the heavier the fruit, the more juice it has inside. Minor scratches and marks on the surface are no problems because as one grower said, these are “beauty marks” from when the fruit rubs up against the branches due to the wind.

While minor marks and scratches are okay, avoid Rio Red grapefruits that are bruised or that has soft spots as these might be indications of mishandling or decay.

Rio Red Grapefruit Production & Farming in Texas

Almost all commercial Rio Red Grapefruit production is located in the Rio Grande Valle Area. The extremely fertile soil coupled with the sheltered climate provides the perfect conditions for growing Rio Red grapefruits. In fact, grapefruits that don’t have red flesh have been banned in Texas since 1962, so all of the grapefruit being sold and grown in Texas are descendants of the original Ruby Red grapefruit.

Today, less than 10% of total grapefruit production occurs outside of the Rio Grande Valley region. Most of the production outside of the Rio Grande Valley region is by small organic farms that supply local markets, and farmers’ markets. Some of these farms also offer “pick-your-own” or “u-pick” services where you can get the freshest grapefruits straight from the trees.

Pesticides:

In the latest release of the EWG’s guide to pesticides in produce, the grapefruit has been taken out of the Clean Fifteen list and is now located somewhere in between the clean and dirty lists. This would mean that more and more pesticides and chemicals are being used on non-organic grapefruit trees.

While the thick rind of the grapefruit protects the inner flesh from contamination, it is best to just fully avoid the contamination by purchasing organic Rio Red grapefruits.

Geography:

The Rio Red grapefruit is a cold-hardier version of the original Ruby Red variant. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12. It requires loamy soils or sandy loam soils to grow well, as well as full sun to be able to bloom and fruit properly. The Rio Red variety can survive outside of the Rio Grande Valley Region due to its cold hardiness and only a little cold protection is required.

Packaging:

Rio Red Grapefruits are commonly packed in corrugated paper board boxes, molded pulp trays, and wooded boxes. They require no special protective packaging as the rind is kind of thick and protects the fruit rather well.

Eating Rio Red Grapefruits

Rio Red Grapefruits can be enjoyed by slicing them in half and then scooping out the flesh with a spoon or a specialized grapefruit spoon. They can also be peeled like an orange, but be prepared to get messy as Rio Red grapefruits are super juicy.

Storage:

Rio Red Grapefruits can be stored on the countertop at room temperature for up to a week without losing much quality. They can also be stored whole inside the fridge for up to a month and a half without any noticeable degradation.

Note: When storing them inside the fridge, make sure not to crowd them as crowding them can cause mold formation.

Cooking:

Rio Red grapefruits are best when consumed raw. They also make excellent additions to fresh salads and fruit salads. The flesh of the Rio Red Grapefruit is also great as toppings of different desserts and dishes. Rio Red Grapefruits are also commonly broiled with butter and cinnamon. The peel of the grapefruit can also be candied, but make sure to use organic grapefruit when candying peel to avoid consuming pesticides that might be present in commercially grown grapefruit.

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • A 100g portion of grapefruit has relatively low carbs.
    • The glycemic load of grapefruit is at 4, making it a safe option for people with diabetes to enjoy.
  • Fiber
    • A 100g portion of Rio Red Grapefruit contains 10% of the RDI for dietary fiber.
      • Regular fiber intake prevents constipation and helps lower cholesterol levels.
      • The fiber from Rio Red Grapefruits also helps bulk up your stool to promote bowel movement.
    • Vitamins and minerals:
      • Half a grapefruit provides over 60% of the Vitamin C RDI, with a whole grapefruit, you’ll get 120% of the Vitamin C you need for the day!
        • Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant. It also helps strengthen your immune system to ward off infections like the flu and other viruses.
        • Vitamin C also promotes cell healing and regeneration.

When Are Rio Red 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 Rio Red Grapefruit in Texas Directly from the Producer

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