How To Find, Choose, & Use


(Cocktail Grapefruit)

Citrus × (hybrid)

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The Basics

  • What Is It?

    A fairly large citrus fruit resulting from the hybridization of a frua mandarin and a sweet pomelo (hence ‘mandelo’). Despite the common name ‘cocktail grapefruit,’ it is not actually a true grapefruit.

  • Seasonality


  • Flavour Profile

    Sweet, mildly sour (subacid)

  • Other Names

    Cocktail Grapefruit, Mandalo.


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  • Find

    Specialty Grocery Stores, Fruit Markets, Conventional Grocery Stores (See “Need More Detail” section below regarding the names used in stores)

  • Choose

    Brightly coloured, firm, and heavy fruits. Some green colouring is normal, and does not indicate under-ripe fruit.

  • Prep

    Difficulty: Low – Easy to peel and juice. Unlike grapefruit or pomelo, the membranes are quite thin. The numerous seeds need to be strained or removed if using the juice or whole segments.

  • Use

    Most popular in their uncooked state, but as with most citrus, the fruit and the juice can be cooked or baked with. The zest can be used to for it’s orange-like flavour. The entire peel can be cooked/candied/preserved.

  • Store

    Ripen: Room Temperature
    Short Term: Refrigerate
    Long Term: Not recommended unless dried or preserved

Culinary Info

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  • Flavour Profile

    Sweet; Slightly Sour – Mandarin-like overtones with hints of sour and herbal pomelo or grapefruit. The scent of the zest is likewise somewhere between a mandarin orange and a pomelo.

  • Substitutions

    The juice can be approximated with two parts tangerine/mandarin juice and one part grapefruit juice (see “Need More Detail?” below).

  • Cuisines

    Developed in California in the 1950s and commercialized fairly recently, mandelo does not feature prominently in any cuisines around the world. Nonetheless, it is unique and locally popular.

  • Flavour Pairings

    Savory: Salty flavours (e.g. soy sauce), scallion, ginger, radish
    Sweet: Cinnamon, ginger, milk chocolate

  • Varieties

    None, but note issues with inconsistent naming.

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  • Nutrition

    Extremely high in Vitamin C.
    For a full nutritional profile, click Need More Detail? below

  • Top-To-Tail

    The fruit is entirely edible or usable, including the skin (zest and pith), flesh/juice, and seeds.

  • GMO Status


  • Health & Science

    – As with grapefruit (and many other citrus), mandelos may interact with certain classes of drugs.

  • Organic vs. Conventional

    Both organic and conventionally grown mandelos are available, though availability may be limited.


Mandelo Zaru Soba

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