iPhoneOgraphy – 02 Aug 2016 (Day 215/366)
Citrus maxima (or Citrus grandis), (Common names: pomelo, pomello, pummelo, pommelo, pamplemousse, jabong (Hawaii), shaddick, or shaddock) is a natural (non-hybrid) citrus fruit, with the appearance of a big grapefruit, native to South and Southeast Asia.
Citrus maxima was originally called “shaddick” in English, after the captain of an East India Company ship who introduced it to Jamaica in 1696. The word “pomelo” has become the more common name, although “pomelo” has historically been used for grapefruit. (The 1973 printing of the American Heritage Dictionary, for example, gives grapefruit as the only meaning of “pomelo”.)
The etymology of the word “pomelo” is uncertain. It is thought to perhaps be an alteration of the Dutch pompelmoes (meaning Citrus maxima, although modern regional Dutch use may additionally refer to the yellow/white grapefruit, while the pink grapefruit may be called roze pompelmoes, and “pomelo” refers to Citrus maxima × Citrus × paradisi) or alternatively, perhaps an alteration of a compound of pome (“apple”) + melon.
Citrus maxima is native to Southeast Asia where it is known under a wide variety of names. In large parts of South East Asia, it is a popular dessert, often eaten raw sprinkled with, or dipped in, a salt mixture. It is also eaten in salads and drinks.
It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick albedo (rind pith). It is a large citrus fruit, 15–25 centimetres (5.9–9.8 in) in diameter, usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2–4.4 lb). Leaf petioles are distinctly winged.
The fruit tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit (which is itself believed to be a hybrid of Citrus maxima and the orange), though the typical pomelo is much larger than the grapefruit. It has none, or very little, of the common grapefruit’s bitterness, but the enveloping membranous material around the segments is bitter, considered inedible, and thus is usually discarded. The peel is sometimes used to make marmalade, can be candied, and is sometimes dipped in chocolate. In Brazil, the thick skin is often used for making a sweet conserve, while the spongy pith of the rind is discarded. Occasionally some Asian fat-heavy dishes use sliced pre-soaked pith to absorb the sauce and fat for eating. Citrus maxima is usually grafted onto other citrus rootstocks but can be grown from seed, provided the seeds are not allowed to dry out before planting.
The fruit is said to have been introduced to Japan by a Cantonese captain in the An’ei era (1772–1781). There are two varieties: a sweet kind with white flesh and a sour kind with pinkish flesh, the latter more likely to be used as an altar decoration than actually eaten. Pomelos are often eaten in Asia during the mid-autumn festival or mooncake festival.
It is one of the ingredients of “Forbidden Fruit”, a liqueur dating back to the early 20th century that also contains honey and brandy. This liqueur is most famously used in the Dorchester cocktail.