How to Find, Choose, & Use


Citrus maxima
Pink pomelo cross section

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The Basics

  • What Is It?

    The large, sweet, thick-skinned fruit a species of citrus (family Rutaceae). Pomelos have been crossed to produce numerous citrus hybrids, most notably grapefruit.

  • Seasonality


  • Flavour Profile

    Sweet/Sour/Bitter, acidic (juice), highly fragrant

  • Other Names

    Latin: Citrus grandis
    English: Pommelo, Pummelo, Shaddock, Shaddick, Pamplemousse (not to be confused with grapefruit).
    Chinese - 柚子 - yòuzi (Mandarin), 碌柚 - luk jau (Cantonese)
    Japanese - ブンタン - buntan

Pomelo FAQs

How Do You Eat a Pomelo?

This skin and pith of a pomelo is very thick, but there's not much trick to eating one.  Simply peel the outside off (a knife helps get things started) to reach the grapefruit-like center. Like any citrus, the individual segments are surrounded by a membrane, though this is quite thick and tough in most pomelos. Luckily, it can be peeled off fairly easily to reach the soft fruit inside.

Is Pomelo Sweet or Sour?

Ideally, a bit of both.  The flavour should be similar to a good grapefruit in that respect, though pomelos are generally a bit less bitter.  Note that quality can vary quite a bit, and some fruits are likely to be sweeter than others.

Is A Pomelo a Grapefruit?

No, but they are related.  Grapefruits are the hybrid offspring of a pomelo and a sweet orange.

Are Pomelos Hybrids?

No - in their original form, pomelos are one of the few truly wild citrus fruits (i.e. not the result of crossing various citrus types).  That being said, some commercial pomelo cultivars may have varying degrees of hybrid genetics.


  • Find

    Asian Grocery Stores, Conventional Grocery Stores, Fruit Markets

  • Choose

    Fruits that feel heavy/dense for their size, with an unblemished and fragrant peel.

  • Prep

    Difficulty: Low to Moderate - The extremely thick rind is fairly easy to peel. The membranes around the fruit segments are too tough to eat and should be peeled, but this too is relatively simple.

  • Use

    Generally eaten raw, though it can be cooked or incorporated into desserts/preserves. The zest can be used like any other citrus. The thick pith can be used (with preparation) as a vegetable.

  • Store

    Ripen: Room Temperature
    Short Term: Refrigerate

Culinary Info

  • Flavour Profile

    Sweet/Sour/Bitter; Grapefruit-like with an herbal, bitter character. Sourness can vary a great deal from fruit to fruit and between varieties.

  • Substitutions

    Sweet grapefruit makes a fairly good substitute, though it tends to be much juicier than pomelo. Melogold makes a good replacement, but is generally harder to find than pomelo (see "Substitution Note" below).

  • Cuisines

    Popular in East and Southeast Asia and well suited to those flavour palettes.

  • Flavour Pairings

    Savory: Herbs, bitter greens, raw mild onion, soy-based sauces
    Sweet: Cardamom, cinnamon (when used in small quantities)

  • Varieties

    Pomelos can be pink-fleshed and white-fleshed, with multiple varieties within each category (see photos and "Important Varieties" note below). Pink pomelos are often juicier and sweeter.

White-fleshed pomelo shown in cross-section.
Cross-section of a pink-fleshed pomelo.
Pink-fleshed pomelo shown in cross-section.
Cross-section of a white-fleshed pomelo.
White-fleshed pomelo shown in cross-section.
A pear-shaped Thai pomelo variety.
Pink-fleshed pomelo shown in cross-section.
Cross-section of a white-fleshed pomelo.

More Info

  • Nutrition

    Nutrition Facts
    Pomelo (Shaddock) - 100 g (3.5 oz)
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 38
    % Daily Value*
    Sodium 1mg0%
    Carbohydrates 9g3%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Protein 1g2%
    Vitamin C 84.2mg102%
    Calcium 10mg1%
    Iron 0.2mg1%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Exceptionally high in Vitamin C.

  • Top-To-Tail

    The fruit is entirely edible or usable, including the skin (zest and pith), flesh/juice, and seeds. Membranes separating the segments are technically edible, but are usually too tough. See note below for details.

  • GMO Status


  • Health & Science

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

  • Organic vs. Conventional

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

Pomelo Recipes

Pomelo Salad Rolls

Pomelo Salad Rolls with a Spicy Hoisin Dip

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