Pomelos? Pommelos? Pummelo?

I remember the first time I laid eyes on a pomelo. It was a beautifully hot, sunny day when I was touring around Italy on the island of Capri. I saw three of them perched by a window sill  of a restaurant that I was passing by and I gasped, thinking it was (you’re going to laugh) overgrown, steroid-infused, monster-sized lemons.

Well, I wasn’t too far off. Pomelos are citrus fruit! They are closely related to grapefruit, but can be super sweet or super tart. It’s like playing Russian roulette – you’ll never know what you’ll get.

As with any citrus fruit, you need to peel the outer skin off to reveal perforated lines of the membrane ready to be torn open into little wedges. Even though these pomelos are huge, the can range in size, shape and colour. Oddly enough, even though most people only eat the insides of the fruit, the skins can be used in dishes as well. Apparently even my mother makes dishes with the skins and I never realized this until recently (coming from a “don’t ask, just eat” mentality). However, she claims this can be done only if they are perfect and right, which I interpret as being bright yellow and unblemished. 🙂

However, it isn’t without rhyme or reason that I thought these ginormous balls were lemons. Italy is known for Limoncello!

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