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Grapefruit was discovered in the 1750s, probably in Barbados, at east of the Caribbean Sea. It was known as the shaddock until the 1800s. In 1830s, it was botanically distinguished from the pomelo, and given the name Citrus paradisi. Its true origins were not determined until the 1950s. This led to the official name being altered to Citrus × paradisi. The fruit has only become popular from the late 19th century; before that it was only grown as an ornamental plant. The US quickly became a major producer of the fruit, with orchards in Florida and Texas.
Grapefruit is a sub-tropical citrus tree grown for its fruit, which are also known as grapefruit. The height of this evergreen tree reaches 5-6 m, and even 13-15 m with age. The leaves are dark green, ovate in shape, measuring 3 to 6 inch long and 2 to 3 inch wide. It produces white four-petalled flowers which are 1 to 2 inch cross and borne singly or in clusters in the leaf axils.
Grapefruit got its name from the way it grows in clusters (like grapes) on the tree. The fruit is yellow-skinned, nearly round or oblate to slightly pear-shaped and ranges in diameter from 4 to 6 inch. The center may be solid or semi-hollow. The pale-yellow, nearly whitish, or pink, or even deep-red pulp is in 11 to 14 segments with thin, membranous, somewhat bitter walls; very juicy, acid to sweet-acid in flavor when fully ripe. While some fruits are seedless or nearly so, there may be up to 90 white, elliptical, pointed seeds about 1/2 inch in length. The number of fruits in a cluster varies greatly; a dozen is unusual but there have been as many as 20.
Currently the grapefruit is said to be one of the "Seven Wonders of Barbados". It had developed as a hybrid of the pomelo (Citrus maxima) with the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). Further crosses have produced the tangelo (1905), the minneola (1931) and the sweetie (1984).
Varieties : There are three major types of grapefruit white, pink/red, and star ruby/rio red varieties.
Season : Peak season is January through June.
Taste : All grapefruit have a similar tangy-sweet flavor and are very juicy.
Selection : Choose grapefruit that is glossy, round, smooth and heavy for its size. Avoid any grapefruit with brown and/or soft spots. Grapefruits that are used to make juice are those which contain seeds.
Storing : Store at room temperature - lasted for about 7 days. If store in refrigerator, it can last for about 8 weeks. Leave at room temperature for a couple of hours before eating.
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