How to Ripen Pomelos

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Meet the largest citrus fruit in the world. It is called pomelo, but is also known as pummelo or shaddock, and can grow as large as a soccer ball. It's important to pick a ripe one since the pomelo will not ripen further once it is removed from the tree.

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Meet the Pomelo

Pomelo (​Citrus maximus​) is the ancestor of the modern grapefruit. Like all citrus, this fruit tree needs proper care, including a sunny location and adequate fertilizer and water.

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These large fruits have thick rinds and pink, yellow, white, or red flesh with seeds. New trees can be grown from the seeds. The fruit ranges from round to pear shaped and may be seedy or seedless. It can be eaten right off the tree but is also used in salads and other dishes. To eat pomelo, peel away the rind, separate the segments, and then open the segment membrane to remove and eat the fruit vesicles.

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If you are growing pomelo, it's critical to learn how to tell if it is ripe. You must allow pomelos to ripen on the tree since they won't ripen once plucked. The rule of thumb is to 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.

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Store Your Pomelos

Once you do pick the pomelos, place them in a dry, well-ventilated spot in your home or garage where they will not freeze. You can 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. Some suggest hanging the fruits in individual mesh bags for storage.

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If you are buying fruit from markets or stores, pick those with thinner, shiny rinds and fruit that seems heavy for its size. 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.

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.

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Taste Your Pomelos

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.

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The fruit is high in vitamin C, providing more than 100 percent of the daily amount recommended. Some claim that this fruit has many additional impressive health benefits, including the ability to boost the immune system, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, and reduce cramping.

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