Ship Grapefruit in Texas
Image by Billie Hara via Flickr
A shipment of fresh fruit makes a great gift for almost any occasion. For birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or just to say thanks, fruit baskets have something in them for everyone. They are also inexpensive and can be shipped most months of the year. In this article we are going to talk about one fruit in particular, the grapefruit.
Why ship grapefruit? Discovered on the island of Barbados in 1750, the grapefruit is one of the world's most popular breakfast foods. It is also unique in that it is the only citrus fruit that did not originate in Asia.
The grapefruit arrived in Florida in 1823, which still leads the nation in grapefruit production. In fact, Texas and Florida alone account for 40 percent of the world's total grapefruit production. But as successful as the grapefruit was in the Sunshine State, it was clearly overshadowed by the orange.
So, while Florida leads the nation in production, it is another state that is actually responsible for the success of grapefruit in America and in the world.
The grapefruit came to South Texas sometime in the mid 19th century. Its seeds were carried by Spanish missionaries who then distributed them to local farmers. Fortunately, the region where the missionaries stopped just so happened to be one of the best places on the earth for growing grapefruit. Known as the Rio Grande Valley, its sub tropical climate and fertile soil are beyond compare.
The first grapefruit crops were planted in 1893, but it was not a commercial fruit. Farmers would occasionally ship grapefruit to friends and local residents to see what they thought. At the start, opinions were decidedly mixed. Some folks liked the sour and tangy taste, while others couldn't stand it.
It looked at as if the grapefruit would never find a place to propagate, that was until 1929. This was the watershed date for grapefruits in American. It was when a red grapefruit was found growing on a pink tree. Before this time, of course, all grapefruits were either pink or white. This new red variety was a simple mutation. But unlike most mutations, the fruit that would later be dubbed the “Ruby” was actually an improvement over its predecessors. Not only was it sweeter and more flavorful, but it also offered a myriad of other nutritional benefits.
But why ship grapefruit? Well, don't you want to taste the fruit that single-handedly built the grapefruit industry in America? Yes, before the Ruby variety, the grapefruit was a mere novelty. Today, farmers in America ship more than a million and a half tons (mostly Rubies) around the world.
As you might expect, if you would like to ship grapefruit, you must place your order during the growing season. The grapefruit grows from November through May. Smaller orders are almost always shipped directly from the states where they grow–Florida, Texas, California and Arizona.