Ok, I’ll admit when I first bought the pomelo I didn’t have much faith in how great it would be. I thought, “ok, you have one citrus fruit you have them all.” There is just something really cool about the pomelo.
First off, the picture doesn’t do it justice but this thing is massive. It’s between a softball and a bowling ball and it doesn’t really have any kind of smell to it. It just looks like a huge grapefruit.
After watching a few videos on how to peel it, I didn’t want to go for the old use your fingernail technique, but a large knife. Surprisingly, I cut a pretty big chunk off the bottom and it was mostly pith so that was a relief in case I cut into the meat of the fruit.
You can see I definitely grazed the important stuff a pretty good bit but those are all pretty substantial cuts so don’t be afraid of peeling it with a knife.
Want to know what I do regret with this whole endeavor? I can find some of these in my local stores but they aren’t fresh. They’re not exactly rotting on the shelves but I see so many videos of people reviewing things that they actually live overseas or pay to have it shipped at the speed of light and you can tell a huge difference in the quality. You just won’t be able to find certain pieces of produce in certain climates at certain times of the year. Certainly, that is a bummer.
Here is where pomelo differs in the coolest way possible from other grapefruit and general citrus fruits.
It doesn’t cause a gigantic mess when separating and breaking it apart. I mean, it has been a while since I’ve peeled and eaten a grapefruit which is the closest relative on regular shelves to the pomelo. The pomelo doesn’t squirt juice everywhere and I actually achieved the most satisfying dream I never knew I had.
The little tiny bits that burst when you bite into them are called “juice vesicles” and you know exactly what I’m talking about. Every segment of citrus is full of them contained in a membrane. With the pomelo you can extract just the vesicles from the membranes super easily and not have to worry about any extra pith or chewy fibrous parts.
This is awesome.
Don’t get me wrong, your hands will get a little wet, but not as bad as taking apart an orange and it is tedious as all else, but it is totally worth the work to have a big bowl of this juicy goodness.
The taste isn’t as strong as I expected. I’m sure fresh off the tree it is to die for, but the flavor is like a sweeter grapefruit.
Since I knew I summed it all up in one sentence, I had to make something with this so I found a recipe for a Thai salad called Yam Som-O and there are actually quite a few variations on it. The one I used was fantastic and is from bonappetit.com and they just call it a Pomelo Salad here.
There were quite a few steps to be honest, you have to dissect the pomelo which is the bulk of the work but also shallow fry some sliced shallots, toast some coconut and peanuts and it looks daunting but it is fantastic.
I’m currently chowing down on some while writing this and I have to admit it is better the day of, but still tasty after a day in the fridge. I also had to replace a few ingredients due to availability. I replaced the fish sauce with soy sauce, used light brown sugar instead of palm sugar and could only find serrano peppers instead of thai chile but still worth it. The recipe also said you could replace the pomelo with grapefruit but I wouldn’t recommend it due to how easy it is to peel apart everything.
It is delicious. It is good. It is sweet and savory with a little bit of spicy and all around tasty. I don’t have more to say other than you need to try this at least once. If I could eat this for the next four picks I would.