February is National Grapefruit Month — Peel and Eat

One Grapefruit and Three Sweet Hybrid Grapefruit from the Author's Farmer's Market
One Grapefruit and Three Sweet Hybrid Grapefruit

Recently when we were approached at the farmer’s market by a woman wielding grapefruit speared on toothpicks, I did not know it was National Grapefruit Month. She urged us try a sample and said it was a new hybrid, a sweeter variety of grapefruit.

It was sweet with a hint of orange and grapefruit in the background. We are fans of organic farmers so bought a few. When we got home I had forgotten the name so hopped on the Internet hoping to find it, I didn’t.

I did find out that February is National Grapefruit Month, so decided to join in by learning and writing about grapefruit.

Who started National Grapefruit Month? A cursory Web search turned up results from as early as 2003 but I could not locate the original source of National Grapefruit Month. Perhaps it was a grapefruit grower’s industry group wanting to sell more grapefruit, the USDA, a health organization, or maybe just a fan of grapefruit.

Grapefruit Facts

  • Grapefruit is a hybrid citrus fruit, a cross between pomelo and sweet orange.
  • It is said grapefruit originated in Barbados or thereabouts and was introduced to Florida in 1823 by the Spanish.
  • Grapefruit trees are evergreen and produce roundish fruit that grow in clusters (like grapes).
  • A grapefruit is about 4-6 inches in diameter, with yellow to orange rind, and segmented flesh that is white, pink, or reddish depending on variety. Its flavor is tart with a hint of sweetness. Although newer hybrids, like the one I tasted at the farmer’s market are much sweeter.
  • Florida grows about 75% of the total grapefruit crop in the U.S., along with Texas, California, and Arizona. Grapefruit is available all year long—from somewhere.
  • Grapefruit are easy to transport and come in their own biodegradable package.
  • Not only does grapefruit taste good, it is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin, niacin, and contains the antioxidant lycopene.

Grapefruit Preparation

My favorite way to eat grapefruit is to just eat one. I used to sprinkle sugar on the top of a grapefruit half but I stopped doing that years ago and don’t miss the sugar or the calories.

Author's Serrated Grapefruit Knife with Grapefruit

Depending on the variety, grapefruit are easily peeled and broken into segments. An alternate method is cutting the grapefruit in half and scooping out the segments with a spoon or using a small knife (serrated works well). To be fancy, supreme an orange by cutting off the rind with a knife and then carefully cutting in between the membranes to release the segments.

After grapefruit and avocado salad, I’ve exhausted my store of grapefruit recipes. Fortunately, by entering “grapefruit recipes” in a web browser search window, numerous recipes instantly appear.

I still don’t know the name of the hybrid grapefruit we bought at the farmer’s market. The thing is, if I want something sweet I’d rather eat an orange, so I think I’ll stick with grapefruit that actually taste like grapefruit.

Celebrate National Grapefruit Month by peeling and eating a grapefruit.


Author: Linda Poppenheimer

Linda researches and writes about environmental topics to share information and to spark conversation. Her mission is to live more lightly on Earth and to persuade everyone else to do the same.

One thought on “February is National Grapefruit Month — Peel and Eat”

  1. The 1929 Ruby Red patent was associated with real commercial success, which came after the discovery of a red grapefruit growing on a pink variety. Only with the introduction of the Ruby Red did the grapefruit transform into a real agricultural success.*

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