Citrus maxima (or Citrus grandis), (Common names: shaddock, pomelo, pummelo, pommelo, or lusho fruit) is a crisp citrus fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick albedo (rind pith). It is the largest citrus fruit, 15–25 centimetres (5.9–9.8 in) in diameter, and usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2–4.4 lb).
Etymology, cultivation and uses
Citrus maxima was originally called "shaddock", after the captain of a East India Company ship who introduced it to Jamaica in 1696. Recently the word "pomelo" has become the more common name, although "pomelo" has historically been used for grapefruit. (The 1973 printing of the American Heritage Dictionary for example gives grapefruit as the only meaning of "pomelo".)
The etymology of the word "pomelo" is uncertain. It is thought to perhaps be an alteration of the Dutch pompelmoes (meaning Citrus maxima) or alternatively, perhaps an alteration of a compound of pome ("apple") + melon.
Citrus maxima is native to Southeast Asia and is known there under a wide variety of names. In large parts of South East Asia, it is a popular dessert, often eaten raw sprinkled with or dipped in salt mixture. It is also eaten in salads and drinks.
The fruit tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit (which is itself believed to be a hybrid of Citrus maxima and the orange), though the typical shaddock is much larger in size than the grapefruit. It has very little, or none, of the common grapefruit's bitterness, but the enveloping membranous material around the segments is bitter, considered inedible, and thus usually is discarded. The peel is sometimes used to make marmalade, can be candied and sometimes dipped in chocolate. Citrus maxima is usually grafted onto other citrus rootstocks, but can be grown from seed, provided the seeds are not allowed to dry out before planting.
The two varieties are a sweet kind, which has white flesh, and a sour kind, which has pinkish flesh and is more likely to be used as an altar decoration than actually eaten. Pomelos are often eaten during the mid-autumn festival or mooncake festival; in Asia.
It is one of the ingredients of Forbidden Fruit, a liqueur dating back to the early 20th century that also contains honey and brandy. This liqueur is most famously used in the Dorchester cocktail.
In Brazil, the thick skin is often used for making a sweet conserve, while the middle is discarded.
The fruit is known as "Batabi Lebu" in West Bengal (the fruit here has a very pink flesh), "robab tenga" in Assam, and is a popular fruit among mass. In Manipur, the fruit is used as a major source of vitamin C. In Kerala, this is widely seen and called in Malayalam as 'Babloos Naranga' 'Kampili naranga' or, Madhura naranga' etc. In Hindi it is called 'Chakotara' चकोतरा. In Nepal, it is called 'Bhogate' भोगटे.
The tangelo is a hybrid between Citrus maxima and the tangerine. It has a thicker skin than a tangerine and is less sweet. The Oroblanco is a hybrid between Citrus maxima and the grapefruit, the grapefruit itself being a hybrid between Citrus maxima and the sweet orange. Mandelos are another hybrid containing genetic material from Citrus maxima.
- "Shaddock". Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Growing the granddaddy of grapefruit, SFGate.com, December 25, 2004
- American Heritage Dictionary, 1973.
- “pomelo, n.” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [Draft revision; June 2008]
- "Pummelo". Hort.purdue.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
- Grapefruit "Grapefruit". Hort.purdue.edu. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
- "阿久根市： 観光・特産品（ボンタン）". City.akune.kagoshima.jp. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
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