How To Find, Choose, & Use


Citrus maxima

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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

    Pommelo, Pummelo, Shaddock, Shaddick, Pamplemousse, Citrus grandis.


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  • Find

    Asian Grocery Stores, Conventional Grocery Stores, Fruit Markets

  • Choose

    Fruits that feel 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

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  • 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 “Need More Detail?” 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 “Need More Detail?” below). Pink pomelos are often juicier and sweeter.

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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. Membranes separating the segments are technically edible, but are usually too tough.

  • GMO Status


  • Health & Science

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

  • Organic vs. Conventional

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


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