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Florida Produce: Grapefruit

October 26, 2009

Grapefruit 2This week’s Florida commodity is the grapefruit. Florida grapefruit are split into two classifications – white and pink. Each has its own distinct taste. They grow in grape-like clusters on the tree, hence the name. The growing season for grapefruit is almost year-round in Florida, from September until June, with the peak production time from late November to early December.

How to buy
Grapefruit is usually picked “tree ripe” and they are ready to be eaten once purchased. Look for firm yet springy fruits, and as with most citrus, find the fruit that is heavy for its size. Scratches or imperfections will not affect how the fruit tastes. However, try to avoid the ones that have water-soaked skin, lack of color or soft spots.Grapefruit

Tips for storage
Store up to two weeks in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Florida grapefruit will last much longer under refrigeration; temperatures from 45 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit are best. Plastic bags or film-wrapped trays should not be used when storing citrus. Citrus needs to breathe, so there is no need to store in an airtight container. When stored properly, citrus can last four to five days.

Cooking & Tips
A little pinch of salt can make a grapefruit taste sweeter. While grapefruits are often served cut in half to be eaten raw or juiced, they can also be sliced and grilled as a side dish to serve with an entrée. Grapefruit sections or pieces can be added to fruit salads and used in desserts.

Flavors well with
Champagne, fish, honey, melon, mint, orange, blueberries, rosemary, shellfish, strawberries, sugar

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