Pomelos are the sweet and meaty relatives of grapefruit, which are often tart and slightly bitter, and whose pulp is too fragile to separate from its rind.
The joy of pomelo is underrated, being relatively unknown and intimidating because of its size. At the Food Coop where one would think members have a better familiarity with produce not commonly found in conventional grocery stores, I’ve often been asked by the cashier what it is when I put it on the belt. Either that or they comment on how big my grapefruit is. No it’s not, it’s just happy to see you. :p
Pomelos (suha in the Philippines) are tropical fruit, and of course this is the part where I tell you I grew up with them. But I did! Our dinner table would have a bowl of them waiting to be peeled and divided, and I would happily suck on the pulp and feel it explode with juicy tart sweetness between my teeth, bit by delicious bit.
Street vendors would sell them in large wooden carts. They would already be peeled, and the sellers would spend their days peeling them and trying to get as close to the pulp as possible, but taking care not to actually expose it.
Now you don’t have to eat it like a grapefruit! Here are the steps to peeling a pomelo the way I learned it in the old country, watching my father’s hands after dinner, waiting for my juicy surprise.
A ripe pomelo is fragrant when you stick your nose close to its rind.
Begin by slicing off the top and bottom of the fruit, careful not to cut the inner skin.
The rind is scored lengthwise every few inches, again taking care not to cut too deep as to reach the pulp.
Using two hands, the rind is peeled off to expose the inner skin.
Do this all across the fruit until you only have the rindless ball of pulp.
Tear the fruit in half lengthwise by pressing two thumbs into the bottom end.
After peeling off the inner skin, the juicy pink or yellow pulp is exposed and is ready for consumption.
Aside from eating on its own, pomelos are also good for use in fruit or vegetable salads, adding a good acidic kick and flavor to the mix.
Thanks to my hand model R, as always 🙂