Ruby Red Grapefruits

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The grapefruit was brought to Texas by Spanish missionaries in the late 1800s with the first grapefruit grove being planted in 1893. Decades later, a single mutation on a tree became the famed Texas Ruby Red grapefruit, which was the first-ever grapefruit to receive a patent. Over the years, mutagenesis was used to experiment with ruby red grapefruit to create the perfect variant, which has become the ancestor of most modern commercially grown ruby red grapefruit today. The impact of the Ruby red grapefruit on the state was so great that in 1993, it was declared as the state fruit.

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

Ruby Red Grapefruit Trivia

  • The ruby red grapefruit was a random mutation that was discovered in 1929.
  • When it was first discovered, the grapefruit was called the “forbidden fruit.”
  • The grapefruit got its name because the fruit clustered on trees like giant grape clusters.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Buying Guide

The best sign that you have to look out for when buying ruby red grapefruits is its plumpness. The fruit should look like it’s about to explode through its skin. This is a great sign that the pulp inside juicy. The texture should be pretty firm that when you squeeze it, it should bounce back to its original shape immediately.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Production & Farming in Texas

The Ruby Red Grapefruit was accidentally discovered in Texas and it has been a mainstay of grapefruit production in the state ever since.  Texas produces roughly 25% of all the grapefruit produced in the United States.  Of the different varieties of grapefruit, Texas only produces red grapefruits with almost all of the State’s production centered around the Rio Grande Valley. When it’s grapefruit season, you can find Red Grapefruits all over the State, from supermarkets, roadside stalls, farmers’ markets, and you can even pick your own grapefruits at local farms.

Pesticides:

EWG has placed the grapefruit on it’s Clean Fifteen List. This is the list of fifteen of the top fruits and vegetables that are relatively low in pesticide residue. If you’re striving to eat organic and you can’t find any, then grapefruits are a good way to go.

One thing to take note though is that one of the reasons why grapefruit tests low in pesticide residue is because of its tough outer skin which makes it hard for pesticides to reach the actual flesh of the fruit.

Even if the grapefruit flesh is relatively free from pesticide residue, we must consider the effect of the pesticides used on the air, waterways, and land where the fruit was grown.

Geography:

The ruby red grapefruit thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and 10. They require well-drained loam soil as well as access to full sun. Ruby red grapefruit is particularly sensitive to frost so make sure if you intend to plant ruby reds, that your plants are well protected from frost during the colder months.

Packaging:

Since grapefruits are pretty hardy fruits, they’re mostly bulked packed in polystyrene boxes for display with an average of 16 grapefruits per box or in mesh bags with total weights of two to four pounds per bag.

For organically grown grapefruit, they’re usually just stored in a bin so that you can pick whichever ones you like and have them weighed individually.

Eating Ruby Red Grapefruits

The best way to eat grapefruits is to just give them a quick wash then slice them horizontally in half through the middle. Once you have them halved, just scoop out with flesh with a spoon or cut them out with a knife.

While it may seem like a good idea to peel grapefruits like oranges, it is pretty messy and you’ll end up wasting a lot of the flesh. But, to each his/her own and if you find this way works for you, then go for it!

Storage:

You can keep unopened grapefruits at room temperature for up to a week. If you plan to store them longer, they can last inside the coldest section of your fridge for up to six weeks. Make sure that the grapefruit has room to breathe inside the refrigerator because sticking them in tight spots or inside a bag can cause them to get moldy and reduce your storage time.

To freeze grapefruit, you need to remove the flesh from the skin, as well as the “inner” skin. Freeze them in a single layer to prevent sticking then transfer them to a freezer-safe Ziploc or container.

Cooking:

Due to its slightly bitter taste, grapefruit does well when added to alcoholic beverages like mimosas and margaritas. The zest of the grapefruit can also be candied to use as toppings for cakes and pastries. Fresh grapefruit slices go well with cream-based desserts as well as fresh green salads. Of course, they also do well in fruit salads.

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • When compared with other fruits, grapefruits are relatively low in carbs with only 11g of carbs per 100g serving.
    • Without any added sugar or honey to counter the bitterness, a serving of grapefruit has a glycemic load of 4, which makes this a very safe fruit for people with diabetes to consume.
  • Fiber
    • Some people think that ruby red grapefruit contains a lot of fiber due to the texture of the flesh, but in fact, it only contains 10% of the RDI for fiber.
      • Fiber is essential for maintaining gut health and for fighting the symptoms of constipation.
      • Most of the fiber from ruby red grapefruit is insoluble fiber. Being insoluble, they absorb a lot of water from your intestinal tract and promotes regular bowel movements.
    • Vitamins and minerals:
      • Ruby red grapefruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C. A 100g serving or roughly half a grapefruit provides over 60% of the RDI of Vitamin C.
        • Studies have shown that tissue and wound repair is faster with the right levels of Vitamin C.
        • Vitamin C also helps build up your immune system, making you ward off infections like the flu faster.
      • Ruby red grapefruits also provide small amounts of various vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
        • While not in high amounts, every little bit of vitamins and minerals that are consumed can help in your overall health and wellbeing.

When Are Ruby Red Grapefruits 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 Ruby Red Grapefruits in Texas Directly from the Producer

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Hibiscus Hill Farm & Ranch

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