Where is Texas Grapefruit grown?
Red grapefruit is synonymous to the great Texas grapefruit industry since it is home to the sweet, succulent ruby red grapefruit that augmented and gave life to the lackluster industry when the unwanted and unpopular acidic and acrid white grapefruit and pink grapefruit were still the most cultivated varieties.
History and Cultivation
When grapefruit first arrived in the United States people did not take a liking to the seedy fruit that is highly acidic. It took years of cultivating, experimenting, irrigation techniques, and waiting for the grapefruit trees to produce a top-of-the-line mutated fruit that would capture the hearts of many.
It could be called luck, or maybe a blessing, but the most sought after sweet grapefruit was actually found in 1929 on the eve of the Great Depression in an orchard in McAllen, Texas located at the southern tip of the state along the Rio Grande Valley, which was famous onion country. A grower named A.E. Henninger discovered the golden fruit with red blush on one of his Pink Marsh grapefruit trees.
This curious fruit was unlike the other fruits that were born from the same tree; it had a golden peel with red blush and flesh that is not pink but red. What makes it even more curious is that the taste is rather sweet and not highly acidic. Henniger then painstakingly cut the fresh new buds from the same branch that bore the mutated fruit and grafted them onto other trees. Soon the grafted “bud sports” started producing sweet, red-fleshed grapefruits that appealed to the taste buds of consumers.
A few years after new, similar mutations were found all over Texas and each grower cultivated his own strain of grapefruit and named it. Henninger subsequently patented the first discovered mutated fruit under the name Ruby Red, and that name soon became associated with all Texas red grapefruits.
Today, Texas only produces red grapefruits that are mainly harvested from the Rio Grande Valley.
Grapefruit is one of the world’s healthiest foods. It is a great source of vitamin C that helps support the immune system, reduce severity of inflammation, combat the formation of free radicals and promote overall health. It is also a good source of vitamin A, copper, dietary fiber, potassium, pantothenic acid vitamin B. Calories in a grapefruit is 42 per 100 grams.
Grapefruit is known lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.
Grapefruits are great eaten fresh out of hand but can be made into grapefruit juice. They can also be used to make fresh fruit salad or as an ingredient to make sumptuous meals like prawn cocktail, sea bass with tomato and citrus salsa, roasted vegetable and many more. Grapefruits can also be used to make Christmas cocktails, pies and even cakes.