Are those Pomelos; Or are You Just Happy to See Me?

They’re back!
And to celebrate, we revisit an early post.
~ Jennifer

I love veggies. I’d like to tell you that I eat them for the health of it; but the truth is I like the way they taste. I’ll eat anything green and leafy, go back for seconds and, once the table is cleared, polish off any additional stems and leaves — all before the dishwasher soap dispenser pops open, heralding the wash cycle.

It’s fair to say that I get my daily 3-5 servings as well as yours. I credit my mom for this, as she consistently served three squares a day with the emphasis on fresh produce.

But I am not a fruit eater. Mom always had a bowl of apples, bananas and assorted seasonal fruits at the ready…. I was never that hungry.

Over the years, I tried to like fruit. But unless it was slathered with whipped cream or covered in chocolate, I just couldn’t go there. I wholly despise pears, plums and green grapes. “Red Delicious Apples” is an oxymoron (or an outright lie). And I cannot abide anything too terribly tropical. Papaya, kiwi, guava…. Guava? Really? Are you sure that’s a fruit and not a genus of lizard?

I will occasionally choke down a tangerine. It keeps the scurvy at bay. Plus I can delude myself into thinking that each section counts as one serving. This has been my sad commitment to eating more healthfully.

But things changed during a recent outing to The Fresh Market. As I made my way to the deli via the produce section, a ridiculously enormous and impossibly bright yellow object startled me. It was fruit — something citrussy called a pomelo.

My first thought was, “Wow, those would really fill out that pretty purple top I got at Lane Bryant last week (great fit for my linebacker shoulders; not so great in the boobal area, it turns out). My second thought was, “Are those things real?” (no doubt, this would have been the same thought from countless others had I actually been able to fill the aforementioned Lane Bryant purchase). My third thought was, “I could buy one of these, take it like medicine and completely satisfy my requisite fruit servings for the rest of 2010.” I was in.

I placed the pomelo in my market basket, struggling under the weight, and quickly made the necessary adjustment in stance. Hmmm. Not only would I fulfill annual nutritional requirements with this thing, I was getting my exercise for the week, too. Cool.

It took some doing, but I finished my shopping, navigated my way through the checkout and managed to get myself and the pomelo out to the car where I seriously thought about strapping it into the front passenger seat just so I could use the diamond lane.

Once home, I maneuvered the gigantic fruit onto the counter, exhausted yet curious. I was ready to take my medicine; but I wasn’t quite sure how. So I did what any modern woman would do: I googled it.

Two minutes later I was peeling the pomelo, breathing in a heady scent strangely reminiscent of the lingering citral aroma outside of Abercrombie and Fitch. The skin was thicker than any rind I’d ever seen and, inside, there was additional padding. I continued to pull away the soft gauzy layers, until I found the body of the pomelo. Half its original size, I was no longer sure this particular piece would cover my fruit servings much beyond Summer. Still, that smell was interesting….

It looked a lot like a grapefruit; but the sectional membranes were more substantial and, according to Google, inedible. As I peeled those away, the smell was stronger still and I suddenly realized my mouth was watering. Huh?

Not bothering to contemplate further, I lifted a piece of pomelo to my mouth and popped it like a pill. Whoa. The fruit was not sour or biting or acidic as I would have expected, but mildly sweet, slightly tart and quite refreshing. I chewed with enthusiasm while readying another section. It was quick, enjoyable work. Before I knew it, the pomelo was gone. For the first time in my life, I’d eaten an entire piece of fruit without gagging. And I wanted more.

The following morning I found myself back at The Fresh Market, this time wielding a cart (there was no way I was going to lug multiple pomelos through the store with one of those hand-held baskets; and, hey, I’d already met my exercise requirements for the week hauling around that first pomelo) and eager to stock up on the one fruit I could stomach.

It’s been a great couple of months of healthful eating. Thanks to the pomelo, I’ve consistently consumed the recommended daily servings for fruit and then some. But now that pomelo season is over, what’s a girl to do? I’ve been back to The Fresh Market produce department looking for answers, but only left with questions: Could I possibly bring myself to eat something called a mangosteen? Probably not. And do Jujyfruits count?


  1. Cat says

    I love most fruit, but I am with you on the pear thing. I’m pretty sure they are of the devil. I have never tried (or even heard of) a pomelo, but now I’m going to have to look for them at Central Market!

  2. Fluffy Cow says

    Died laughing at, “Are those things real?”

  3. Jennifer says


a peep out of you