How to Ripen Pomelos

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.

Assortment of exotic fruits
credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Pomelo, in the upper right of the photo, has a thick, soft rind.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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

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.