Cocktail Grapefruit

Ripening here about this time is Cocktail Grapefruit, which according to University of California, Riverside’s Citrus Variety Collection  is actually not a grapefruit at all but a hybrid of Siamese Sweet pummelo and Frua mandarin.  The cross was made at Riverside, possibly in the 1950s.  The variety was never officially released by the University of California, Riverside, but somehow made it into the public sector.

From the outside it looks and smells like a grapefruit, and it contains a tremendous amout of juice.  However it is quite mild, very sweet with almost no acid at all but still with a grapefruit-type taste.  A couple of them will give you a decent-sized glass of refreshing juice that’s easy to down in a few gulps.  The tree bears heavy crops of fruits that need to be thinned or they will break branches off the tree.   Color is not a reliable indicator of ripeness, and it is not uncommon to have a greenish tint to the thick rind even when fully ripe.  They hang well on the tree but dry out a bit if left too long.  A nice substitute for folks who enjoy grapefruit but have stomach problems because of the acid.  You probably won’t find them in stores, so you’ll have to grow your own.

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