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The grapefruit

GrapefruitThe origin of the grapefruit could have been a natural cross between sweet orange tree and pummelo (or Shaddock, which is the surname of the British captain who transported it) which took place around the year 1700 in Barbados; therefore we can date its existence around 1823. Seven years later it was officially baptised and got the scientific name of Citrus Paradi, even though it was usually known as "the forbidden fruit". The French Earl Odette Philippe introduced them in Florida from The Bahamas. It is in this state where it gets its full evolution. In fact the United States were the main precursors of this crop, mainly thanks to the obtention, by the investigator Richard Hensz, of the two more popular varieties: Star Ruby and Red River.

This product receives different names such as grapefruit in English (the origin of this denomination is unknown, some people say it could be due to certain similarities with the flavour of grapes; some others say that it might be that the fruit grows in small clusters), pamplemousse in French, pompelmo in Italian and pomelo in Spanish. All these names describe the only fruit that is more used for breakfast than as a dessert.

There are four main varieties of grapefruit:

White grapefruit: Technically known as Marsh Seedless or White Marsh. It is a vigorous tree and of quick production. The fruit is of average size; it weighs around 300gr. The skin is smooth, of pale colour or light yellow and the flesh is cream colour. It is really juicy. The harvest usually takes place in October. It is the most acid of the varieties and it is also the most popular one in the Spanish market.

Pink grapefruit: Also known as Ruby, Red Marsh, Red Seedless, Red Blues or Ruby Red. It is of smaller calibre than the previous one. The fruit is pinky coloured, not only in the skin but also in the flesh. It is usually harvested in October.

Star Ruby: This seedless fruit is of medium size. It is the juiciest of the varieties. The skin is very thin, and its colour goes from toasted yellow to red.

Red River: Also known as Ray Ruby or Henderson. Its size is bigger than the other red variety, even though the colour is less intense and it is less juicy.

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