The subtropical grapefruit tree is a citrus known for its tart thick-pithed spherical yellow-orange bitter fruit. It is believed that this 18th-century fruit originated in Barbados and is a cross between sweet orange and pummel (pomelo). It was then introduced into Florida in the early part of the 19th century.
A selection of grapefruit varieties with red, white, and pink pulp hues are grown across Australia. Flavours range from highly acidic and somewhat sour to sweet and tart. Traditionally the yellow high-acid ‘Marsh’ variety was grown. In the southern regions of Australia this variety’s acidity was much higher when compared to the same cultivar grown under tropical conditions. In more recent years, the sweeter trendier red and pink-fleshed varieties have become more popular. These include the ‘Rio Red’, ‘Flame’ and ‘Star Ruby’ varieties.
Pair grapefruit with contrasting ingredients like, radish, honey, passion fruit, oily fish and rich game. Use the segments in salads with seasonal ingredients, fennel bulb, endive, and radicchio, add a touch of honey if you find it too tart. Grapefruit’s cutting acidity makes it perfect for rich dishes using duck and pork. It adds some nice lift to dressings and some zing to desserts and marmalade.