Facts You Didn’t Know About Grapefruit!

By: Pittman & Davis | On: | Category: Fruit Information

Did You Know That Grapefruit Are Actually a Hybrid Fruit?

If you’re craving fresh fruit, you can’t go wrong ordering fruit from Pittman & Davis! And if you’ve ever had fresh fruit delivered to your home from us, there’s a good chance grapefruits were a part of your gift order. It’s no secret that we at Pittman & Davis our proud of our grapefruit, and with good reason: our farmers raise the most delicious of all grapefruit varieties to perfection – Rio Ruby™ Red Grapefruit – and allow them to ripen fully on the tree so they can soak up as much sweetening sunshine as possible.

Sugar-sweet red grapefruits are very particular when it comes to soil, sunlight and climate, and the United States happens to be home to the only two small areas in the world where these grapefruit trees thrive best: the Texas Rio Grande Valley and Florida Indian River area. That’s where red grapefruit first originated in the 1920s, though its history goes back farther than that.

Grapefruit’s Fascinating History

There’s nothing like fresh grapefruit in season – it’s one of Pittman & Davis’s most popular citrus fruits. Grapefruit hybrids also make popular fresh fruit gift boxes – our famous Honeybells, which are available in January, are a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. But here’s something even the most avid citrus fans may not know: grapefruit itself is actually a hybrid fruit – and so are many of the most popular citrus fruits.

It’s true – lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, kumquats, grapefruits and many other citrus fruits all trace their roots back to four specific, non-hybrid citrus fruits: the citron (which looks rather like a lumpy lemon), the pomelo (a greenish, pear-shaped fruit), the papeda (a rough-skinned, greenish-yellow fruit with an exceedingly bitter taste), and the mandarin (a small, sweet orange variety you’ve probably tasted at some point).

We can thank Mother Nature for the many different citrus fruits we enjoy because the citrus hybridizes easily, both on their own and using natural horticultural techniques.

What Exactly Is a Grapefruit?

The pomelo and the mandarin interbred to create the sweet orange (examples of sweet orange varieties include Valencia Oranges, Bood Oranges, and the different types of Navel Orange). A sweet orange crossed again with a pomelo to give us the fruit we know today as grapefruit.

You might be curious to know how grapefruit got its name. As you might have guessed, grapes didn’t go into the making of grapefruit! (Grapes are technically berries, not citrus fruits.) The name “grapefruit” was actually inspired by how the fruit looks while growing on a tree – in bunches, like grapes (though much larger, of course). A grapefruit cluster can have as many as 25 fruits!

Where Did Grapefruit Originate?

The four original citrus fruits, along with many of their descendants, originated in Asia. Traders brought many different types of trees and fruits with their seeds with them all across the globe, where they thrived in warm, humid climates and produced yet more varieties.

Grapefruit is believed to have originated in the 1700s in the West Indies. In those days the fruit was referred to as “forbidden fruit.” It later came to Florida in the 1800s, where it was mostly grown as a novelty for tourists.

Some More Facts About Grapefruit

The earliest grapefruits had white flesh with a distinctive bitter taste. Today, there are more than twenty varieties of grapefruit available, and the flesh can be white, pink or red. The taste varies from sweet to sour depending on the variety – white and pink varieties tend to be tart, while the red varieties are much sweeter.

Today, the United States is the leading producer of grapefruit, with most of the fruit coming from Florida, Texas and California. Grapefruit has strong roots in the state of Texas, where it’s the official state fruit. The first truly red grapefruit was found growing on a white grapefruit tree in an orchard in south Texas’s Rio Grande Valley in the late 1920s. It first attracted notice because even its skin had a blush to it, and when it was cut open it was found to be red inside. From that mutation grew numerous ruby red grapefruit varieties, which have less naringin (a flavonoid that gives grapefruit its bitter taste) than other grapefruit varieties. The Ruby Red Grapefruit is the first grapefruit variety to receive a United States patent.

Health Benefits of Grapefruit

Here are just a few ways your health can benefit from partaking of this super fruit:

  • Grapefruit packs a hefty dose of vitamin C in each serving. A single serving of grapefruit delivers a whopping 80% of your recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C for the day.
  • Grapefruit has high levels of antioxidants. There’s growing evidence that plant-based antioxidants, like those found in grapefruit (especially red grapefruit), have a slight blood-pressure-lowering effect. Antioxidants in general may also play a key role in preventing cancer.
  • Grapefruit can help you maintain a healthy weight. Grapefruit calories are notoriously low (about 40 for half a medium grapefruit), and because grapefruit is high in fiber and water content it’s very filling. For those on low-carb diets, grapefruit is a good fruit choice: the carbs in grapefruit come out to about 14 for a whole medium fruit.
  • Grapefruit can help you stay hydrated. Our bodies get 20% of our hydration from the food we eat. Grapefruit is 92% water, giving it one of the highest water contents of any fruit.
Ways Grapefruit Can Be Enjoyed

Fresh grapefruit makes a wonderful snack, and when you have the fresh fruit delivered from Pittman & Davis, you’ll find it’s so sweet you won’t need to add any sugar to it! Even better, grapefruit makes a great addition to many recipes…use it in salads, seafood dishes, smoothies and desserts…you can even try grilling it!

When you choose to have fresh fruit delivered from Pittman & Davis, you know you’re getting the best citrus fruit available. Our grapefruit is hand-picked at its peak of ripeness, and the fruit is delivered to your door in record time so you can enjoy it at its best. Be sure to try this delectable citrus hybrid when it come

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