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Add a pomelo to create a spicy salad ingredient

Pomelo | PHOTO BY DAVID HAMMOND

Pomelo | PHOTO BY DAVID HAMMOND

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Updated: December 1, 2013 6:46AM



The pomelo, the largest of all citrus fruits, is about the size of a regulation Chicago softball. It’s the ancestor of the more common grapefruit, though sweeter and less acidic.

The pomelo must be “supremed” before eating. To supreme a pomelo, use a knife to remove the rind, the pulpy inner skin (or pith), the tough membrane around individual segments, and the core, along with the seeds. Then slice fruit segments into smaller pieces, removing tough tissue as you go.

In Thailand, pomelo is a common salad ingredient. To use pomelo in a Thai salad, supreme and mix the fruit with fresh herbs, nuts, cucumber, shrimp and chili.

During the autumn Moon Festival, pomelo is sometimes served with Moon Cake at restaurants in Chinatown. Though in some places it’s referred to as a “Chinese grapefruit,” pomelos are now grown in the warmer states. The United States, in fact, is reportedly the world’s largest producer of pomelos, many of which seem to be sold in Asian markets.

Pomelos are not cheap (about $5 for a small one at Super H Mart in Niles). Consequently, it behooves us to use as much of the fruit as we can. Because the rind and pith are bitter, the obvious solution is to candy them!

Candied pomelo rind is, of course, not exactly “health food,” though pomelo is low-cal with twice the daily requirement for vitamin C.

Here’s an easy recipe:

1. Remove most of the soft pith from outer rind and cut rind into strips

2. Blanch strips 1 minute; repeat

3. Slowly boil equal amounts of pomelo, water and sugar until fruit is soft; dry; toss with sugar

— David Hammond



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