The best test for ripeness is taste. If you grow pomelos, cut one open and taste it to be sure it has ripened on the tree long enough. Most trees yield a single harvest per year. Pomelos have only 60 calories per 5-ounce serving, with no fat or cholesterol and 25 grams of fiber per serving. The fruit is high in vitamin C, providing more than 100 percent of the daily amount recommended, according to Fruits and Veggies -- More Matters, a website maintained by the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
If stored too long, the pomelo fruit may turn bitter. Try wrapping the fruit in paper and storing it in ventilated crates. Overseas shippers pack the fruit this way and the pomelos keep well for six to eight months, according to Purdue University's Horticulture website.
Pomelo (Citrus maximus), often called pummelo or shaddock, is the ancestor of the modern grapefruit and the largest citrus fruit in the world. Pomelo fruits can be as large as soccer balls and have thick rinds and pink, yellow, white or red flesh. The fruit ranges from round to pear shaped and may be seedy or seedless. To eat pomelo, peel away the rind, separate the segments, then open the segment membrane to remove and eat the fruit vesicles. Pomelo can be eaten out of hand or in salads and other dishes. Like other citrus, pomelo does not continue to ripen once it is picked from the tree.
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Allow pomelos to ripen on the tree if you are growing them yourself. Leave the fruit in place as long as possible before harvesting. The trees may flower and fruit more than once per year, but the main crop of fruit begins to ripen on the trees around November. The rind yellows as the fruit ripens.
Place the fresh-picked pomelos in a dry, well-ventilated spot in the home or garage where they will not freeze. Store the fruit for up to three months. As the fruits age, the rind will become wrinkled and deeper yellow, but the fruit inside will be sweeter and juicier than fresh-picked fruit. Hang the fruits in individual mesh bags, if desired.
Look for thinner, shiny rinds and fruit that seems heavy for its size when buying pomelos at the supermarket. Store the fruit in the refrigerator or in a dry, well-ventilated spot in the home or garage for one to two weeks to allow the fruit to age and sweeten.
Audrey Lynn has been a journalist and writer since 1974. She edited a weekly home-and-garden tabloid for her hometown newspaper and has regularly contributed to weekly and daily newspapers, as well as "Law and Order" magazine. A Hambidge Fellow, Lynn studied English at Columbus State University.