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The pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis) is a crisp citrus fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick albedo (rind pith). It is the largest citrus fruit, 15–25 centimetres (5.9–9.8 in) in diameter,[1] and usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2–4.4 lb). Other spellings for pomelo include pummelo, and pommelo, and other names include Jeruk Bali, Chinese grapefruit, jabong, lusho fruit, pompelmous[2] from Tamil pampa limāsu,(பம்பளி மாசு)[3] = pompous lemon] and shaddock.[4]

Etymology, cultivation and uses

The pomelo tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit (which is itself a hybrid of the pomelo and the orange[5]), though the typical pomelo is much larger in size than the grapefruit. It has very little, or none, of the common grapefruit’s bitterness, but the enveloping membranous material around the segments is bitter, considered inedible, and thus usually is discarded. The peel is sometimes used to make marmalade, or is candied and sometimes dipped in chocolate. The peel of the pomelo ‘Chandler’, a California variety, has a smoother skin than many other varieties. An individual Chandler fruit can reach the weight of one kilogram. Pomelos are usually grafted onto other citrus rootstocks, but can be grown from seed, provided the seeds are not allowed to dry out before planting. The seedlings take about eight years to start blooming and yielding fruit.

The tangelo is a hybrid between the pomelo and the tangerine. It has a thicker skin than a tangerine and is less sweet. The orange is also suggested to be a hybrid of the two fruits. Mandelos are another pomelo hybrid.

The pomelo is native to Southeast Asia[6] and is known there under a wide variety of names. In Vietnam, two particularly well-known varieties are cultivated; one called bưởi Năm Roi in the Trà Ôn district of Vinh Long Province of the Mekong Delta region, and one called bưởi da xanh in Ben Tre Province.

In the Philippines, the fruit is known as the sujâ, or lukban, and is eaten as a dessert or snack. The pomelo, cut into wedges, is dipped in salt before it is eaten. The Philippine variety is usually red on the inside, and has more juice than other varieties, making it ideal for hiking. Pomelo juices and pomelo-flavored juice drink mixes are also common.

In Thailand, the fruit is called som-o (Thai: ส้มโอ), and is eaten raw, usually dipped into a salt, sugar and chili pepper mixture. It can also be used in Thai salads, such as yam som-o or tam som-o nam pu.

In Sri Lanka, this is called jambola (ජම්බෝල) in Sinhalese.

In Malay and Indonesian, the pomelo is known as limau or jeruk bali (“Balinese lime/orange”) after the island of Bali. The town of Tambun in Perak, Malaysia is famous for pomelos. The two varieties are a sweet kind, which has white flesh, and a sour kind, which has pinkish flesh and is more likely to be used as an altar decoration than actually eaten. Pomelos are a must during the mid-autumn festival or mooncake festival; they are normally eaten fresh.

In Bangla, in Bangladesh and West Bengal, pomelo is known as a jambura (জাম্বুরা) or batabi lebu (বাতাবি লেবু). Unlike the Malaysian variety, the white-fleshed jambura is sour and the pink-fleshed jambura is sweet in this region.

It is also known as the sai-seh’ (elephant grapefruit) among the Kuki people and Zou tribes in Manipur and Chin states of Myanmar (Burma).

In Chinese, the fruit is known as yòuzi (柚子), although the same Chinese characters can also be used for the yuzu, a different species. The Japanese refer to the pomelo as buntan ( 文旦?) or zabon ( 朱欒?), apparently both derived from the name of Cantonese captain 谢文旦, read Sha Buntan in Japanese, who is said to have introduced the cultivation of the fruit to Japan in the An’ei era (1772–1781).[7] The Chinese use pomelo leaves in a ritual bath, which they believe helps to cleanse a person and repel evil.

In Assam, it is known as robab tenga (ৰবাব টেঙা in Assamese). It is a popular after-lunch snack once it is sprinkled with salt and sliced chillies. In rural areas, children often use it as a football.

In Manipur, nobab is used as a major source of vitamin C. This fruit holds a high place in the culture and tradition of Manipur. In Tamil Nadu, it is locally called as gadarangai. It is more commonly used for making pickles together with salt, oil, red chillies and other spices. In coastal Maharashtra, especially in Konkan, papanas (पपनस) are a major substitute for oranges, and mostly eaten sprinkled with salt and/or sugar. The fruit is known as chakotha hannu(ಚಕ್ಕೋತ ಹಣ್ಣು) in Kannada and dabba kaaya in Telugu. In Malayalam it is known as കമ്പിളിനാരങ്ങ (kambili naranga) or ബബ്ലൂസ് നാരങ്ങ (babloos naranga).

In Haiti and the French Antilles, it is called “chadèque”, after Captain Shaddock who discovered it.

Written on June 8th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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    08 June 2012 at 14:54

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