It’s been a really grapefruit-y time in my house lately, what with the folks at Florida Citrus so generously sending me a case full of them! And I and my family have enjoyed trying some really amazing recipes as well as just generally enjoying eating this wonderful fruit.
Recently I’ve received some feedback from readers who have less than fond childhood memories of experiences with grapefruit but who are keen to try it again after reading my posts and recipe reviews. But they have lots of questions about where to start. How to tell if a grapefruit is ripe? What kind to buy? How and where to store them at home? How best to prepare them?
So, dear readers, with the help of the nice Florida Citrus people, it’s my pleasure to bring you Kath’s guide to buying, picking, storing, preparing and serving Florida grapefruit.
When is Grapefruit Season?
First of all, you need to know that November to April is prime grapefruit season – so get out and try some now, while they’re at their peak. They’re sweeter during their prime season, although they are available from September right through to June.
How to Pick Grapefruit?
If the last time you ate grapefruit was at Grandma’s condo in Florida in the 80s, then you might need a few refreshers on how to pick the best, sweetest, ripest fruit in the supermarket. First, don’t be put off if there are some blemishes on the skin. They’re only caused by rubbing up against other fruits, branches and whatnot while ripening on the tree and don’t affect the taste or quality of the fruit. Secondly, you want to look for a yellow skin (yes, even the pink or red grapefruit have yellow skins), possibly with a light tint of pink to it. And finally, just remember that grapefruit are ready to eat when they’re picked – you don’t need to leave them out to ripen – just cut or peel and eat!
Care and Storage of Your Grapefruit
First thing to keep in mind is that although grapefruit may look like softballs, they are still vulnerable to being bruised, just like any other fruit. So follow common-sense rules here: don’t dump a bunch of other stuff on top of your grapefruit in your shopping bag – keep them in their own bag. Don’t store them in a plastic bag, and keep them in a cool place. They’ll do well at room temperature for about 4-5 days, and they’ll keep for up to three weeks in the crisper in the fridge.
But How Do I Eat the Thing?
If your memories of eating grapefruit are – shall we say – bitter, you’re in need of some updated prep tips. First of all, peel or cut the pith away, including the membrane separating the sections, and eat the pulp. That’s the sweetest part and you’ll find you don’t even need to sprinkle sugar on top. Then you’re set to go: use grapefruit in fruit salads, on cereal, or even cooked. Grapefruit juice is a great addition to smoothies and fruit punch, as well as many sauces and it also tastes just super on its own.
For more great tips on how to incorporate this amazing, vitamin-packed fruit into your diet, check out the Florida Citrus website!