Grapefruit

Grapefruit

  • Ciocan Alina

  • Clasa a 12-a B

  • Colegiul Național “Mircea cel Bătrân

Date generale

This tart, tangy fruit, with an underlying sweetness has a rather recent history, having been discovered in the late 18th century in Barbados and is thought to be a hybrid fruit obtained due to the natural cross breeding between oranges and pomelos. That would explain the characteristics of the grapefruit which resembles both of the “parent” fruits: it has the round shape and the bright coral shade of an orange and also a generous diameter, just like the pomelo. As for the sizes a grapefruit may come in, their diameter varies from 5 to 7 inches.

Grapefruits come in different varieties of colour and can be categorized as white, pink and ruby. Also, they can contain seeds or be seedless but there isn’t really a way to tell a seedless grapefruit from a seed one without actually cutting them. The taste of the grapefruit differs from most of the fruits in the Citrus family, being the most bitter of them. The more ripe your grapefruit is, the sweeter it will be and once you have managed to pick the perfect fruit you will be convinced it deserves its Latin name- “Citrus paradisi”.

The first reference of the newly obtained fruit dates back in the 18th century, the people of Jamaica being the first to name it “grapefruit”. At first, the name got me a little confused, as I could find absolutely no resemblance between grapefruits and grapes, but here it is the explanation: it reflects the way it’s arranged when it grows, hanging in clusters just like grapes. Later, in the 19th century, grapefruit trees were sent to be planted in the sunniest part of the North America’s West Coast – Florida and is still heavily cultivated in that area, along with other major producers such as South Africa and Brazil.

The grapefruit has slowly but surely spread worldwide being now available not only in most of the stores of almost every country but also throughout the year so that everyone could enjoy its nutritious juiciness. However, i have to mention that grapefruits are in season and at their best form from winter to early spring. Just like any other fruits waiting on shelves to be bought and consumed, grapefruits can suffer physical transformations and come out imperfect. It is needless to say that discoloration of the peel, scratches and so on have no impact of your fruit’s taste, nor on its texture quality. There are other forms of decay that can indicate a more bitter taste, one of those being areas of the fruit that seem water soaked. Grapefruits with wrinkled skin are usually to be avoided as there is a big change they have a less juicier flesh.

Grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C, a vitamin well-known for strengthening the immune system and supporting the body in fighting with severe forms of cold. The severity of inflammatory conditions such asthma and rheumatoid arthritis can be reduced by using vitamin C found in all citric fruits. Lycopene can also be found in grapefruit, but only in the pink one, this antioxidant compound having been thought to reduce the risk of cancer of the lungs, stomach and prostate. One animal study has shown that lycopene treatment reduce the growth of brain tumors.

If you consider reducing the risk of confronting with kidney stones a natural solution would be drinking grapefruit juice. Studies found that when patients drank at least half a liter of grapefruit, apple or orange juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.

Recipe

There is a tip on how to store your grapefruits : will keep at room temperature for a week when stored in a bowl or basket with good air circulation. Kept in an airtight bag in the refrigerator’s chilled drawer. That way it can be stored for up to two months.

Grapefruits can be served fresh as a little snack before lunch or dinner, but most of the people I know prefer to eat it with a spoon of honey on top. Honey will make it sweeter and, mixed with grapefruit’s flavor will make a great dessert too, but there is an idea of transforming this bitter-sweet fruit into a delicious breakfast :

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Ingredients :

  • 4 large grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

  • 4 avocados, peeled and sliced

  • 1/3 cup of orange juice

  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon/ lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons of honey

  • salt and pepper to taste

Arrange the grapefruit sections and avocado slices attractively in a shallow serving dish. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, lime juice, and honey until well combined; drizzle the dressing over the grapefruit and avocado slices. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Bon appetite!

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