You may well see something a little different in your Good & Fugly boxes; a giant citrus fruit. But, no, it’s not a grapefruit. It’s a Pomelo!
We’ve partnered with growers such as El Pomelo (www.elpomelo.com.au) to bring this exotic treat into our line-up, and once you’ve tried a Pomelo, there’s no going back. In recent years we’ve seen a surge in interest in unusual citrus fruits (the yuzu being another fruit on the rise), and the tantalisingly sweet and slightly tangy qualities of the Pomelo make it one of the most refreshingly enjoyable options.
“They are a non-hybrid fruit which means it’s not a mix of anything, they are their own thing,” the owners of El Pomelo tell us. “When eating a pomelo, you are getting LOTS of nutrients and vitamins – in fact, it’s one of the favourite fruits for its many health benefits! Some studies reveal that eating pomelos lowers blood pressure levels and helps with weight loss.”
So, what exactly is a Pomelo?
The history of the pomelo is as rich and vibrant as its flavour. This citrus gem has its roots in Southeast Asia, where it has been cultivated for over two thousand years. It's believed to have originated in Malaysia, but it quickly spread throughout the region, and while it’s a relatively exotic and uncommon fruit here, across much of Asia it is a staple.
Interestingly, though, Europeans do have a long history with the Pomelo themselves. During the Age of Exploration, European seafarers encountered the Pomelo and, realising that it would be a popular curiosity, brought this exotic fruit back to Europe. Of course, keeping fruit fresh for a journey across the world was a challenge back in those days. The Pomelo was a treat for the nobility alone back in those days.
Today, the Pomelo is grown all over the place, in Asia, America, Africa and, as El Pomelo proves, Australia. Farms are getting bigger as demand for the fruit grows, and we’re seeing it be used in more and more dishes, too. Chefs are keen to experiment with it (and with its flavour profile, why wouldn’t they?), and it’s a fruit that the whole family can enjoy – it’s not too sour for kids, nor too sweet for adults.
How can I use a Pomelo?
A better question might be “What can’t I do with a Pomelo”? Because the Pomelo is such a well-balanced fruit, with a flavour that isn’t overpowering, it works across just about every type of cooking you can imagine, from entre through to dessert.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Fresh and Tangy Salad: The pomelo's sweet and tangy segments are perfect for adding a burst of flavour to salads. Combine them with fresh greens, avocado, and a zesty vinaigrette for the most refreshing way to start a summer’s meal.
- Exotic Salsas: They didn’t call the farm “El Pomelo” for nothing! Pomelo adds a unique and moreish flavour to salsas, and your Friday night taco nights are going to be elevated to a whole other level with a squeeze of this fruit’s juice.
- Flavourful Cocktails: Looking to impress and a boring old G&T isn’t going to cut it? Add some Pomelo juice, and then see if people can guess the secret ingredient that has made you their new favourite mixologist.
- Dessert Delights: Swap out your usual fruit in dessert recipes for Pomelo. They add a unique twist to pavlova or sorbet, but the absolute best recipe is a Pomelo tart. You make it in exactly the same way as you would a Lemon or Lime tart, but just wait until you see people’s reactions when they bite into the Pomelo-infused curd.
- Zesty Marmalades: The Pomelo's thick peel can be used to make zesty marmalades, perfect for spreading on toast or scones. You don’t want to eat the skin by itself, but here’s a good way to make use of it rather than discarding it (remember: no food waste!)
- Savory Sides: Frankly, anywhere where you might squeeze a lemon, a Pomelo presents an intriguing alternative. Fish and Chips? Stirfry? Grilled chicken? Try them all.
With its versatility and refreshing taste, the pomelo is a welcome addition to any kitchen, adding a touch of exotic elegance to your culinary creations. We’re super keen to hear about your own inventions, so be sure to let us know!
The Pomelo’s star is just starting to rise
With a unique blend of sweet and tangy flavours, coupled with its myriad culinary possibilities, the Pomelo is, for now, one of the true “hidden gems” of the fruit world.
“This place has been producing pomelos for the past 40 years,” the El Pomelo owners tell us. “The previous owners were also a family who just loved and cared for this land. They started from scratch, and we are continuing with the legacy! We are a small farm, but we now have more than 500 trees here in Queensland!”
As our focus on health and wellness grows, the popularity of citrus fruits, including the Pomelo, continues to rise. These fruits offer not only a delicious burst of flavour but also a wealth of health benefits, from boosting our immune systems to improving our skin health. At Good & Fugly, we believe in helping Australians not only fight food waste and save money on the household budget, but help to discover the incredible breadth of cuisine that is available through Australian produce.
So, if you do see a Pomelo in your next box of Good & Fugly fruits, be sure to crack it open and share it with the family. You’re almost certainly going to discover something new and wonderful, grown locally and utterly delicious.