A pomelo is a citrus fruit that is grown all throughout Asia, Malaysia, Tahiti, New Guinea and Fiji. It is considered the largest member of the citrus family. Other names for the pomelo include pummelo, pommelo, and jabong. Another name for the pomelo – shaddock – is not an Asian word, but is based instead on English explorer Captain Shaddock, who was responsible for bringing the fruit to the Caribbean in the 18th century.
The pomelo is significantly larger than the grapefruit. Its flesh is sweet and it has a thick skin or rind. The grapefruit is actually the product of a cross between a pomelo and an orange. Just like the tangelo is the product of a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo. The pomelo’s fruit has a shape like that of a pear but with size that is close to 12 inches across at its widest part. This fruit can weigh up to 22 pounds.
The fruit of the pomelo has a light green colored rind but this gradually becomes mostly yellow when it has fully ripened. The inside of the fruit has a coral pink color when it is ripe. The pomelo tree thrives well in tropical or near tropical climates. Although there are some pomelos that have been successfully planted and grown in milder climates like in San Diego, California and in some parts of Florida.
Like other citrus fruits, pomelos usually ripen in winter. Chinese cooks actually use the pomelo in cooking various types of food – usually as a dessert. The pomelo’s rind can be turned into candy or it is used in dessert soups.