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Grapefruit


Grapefruit

Varieties

The grapefruit tree is an evergreen that grows to about 5-6 m or taller and produces lovely white four-petalled flowers. The leaves are dark green, long and thin. The numerous cultivars include the white grapefruit and the red.

The fruit was originally discovered in the 1750s, in Barbados, and is said to be one of the "Seven wonders of Barbados." The Grapefruit had developed as a hybrid of the pomelo with the sweet orange.

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Storage

Since grapefruits are juicier when they're slightly warm rather than cool, store them at room temperature if you are planning on consuming them within a week of purchase. If you will not be using them within this time period, store them in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep fresh for two to three weeks.

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Origins and Culture

The grapefruit was known as the shaddock until the 1800s, but its current name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree. Botanically, it was not distinguished from the pomelo until the 1830s, when it was given the name Citrus paradisi. Grapefruit trees were planted in Florida in the early 19th century, although they did not become a viable commercial crop until later that century. Florida is still a major producer of grapefruits, as is California, Arizona and Texas.

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Nutritional and Medicinal Properties

We have come to know the grapefruit as a fat-burner over the last decade or so. Grapefruits are also an excellent source of vitamin C and a wonderful antioxidant. Some claim the grapefruit seed extract is a strong antimicrobial that acts, in particular, against bacteria and fungus.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Grapefruit or it's juice can be dangerous for people on certain medications for cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure, cancer, pain, impotence, and allergies. Check with your doctor if you are on medication before consuming grapefruit.

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Basic Cooking Instructions

When we are selecting grapefruit, we look for grapefruit that is heavy for its size. The skin should be springy to the touch, not soft, or wilted. Cosmetic defects on the surface of the fruit, such as scars, scratches and discoloration, don't affect the quality of the fruit inside. While grapefruits are often served cut in half to be eaten raw or juiced, they can also be sliced and grilled as a side dish to serve with an entree. Grapefruit sections or pieces can be added to fruit salads and used in desserts.

Grapefruits, like other citrus fruits, may be called "seedless" if they contain no more than five seeds, so don't be surprised if you have to remove a few seeds.

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