15 Pomelo Varieties (Basic and Popular Pomelo Varieties)

Sliced and whole pomelo on a pink ground.

Pomelo is a tart, sweet, slightly bitter fruit native to Southeast Asia that tastes like grapefruit. The inside of the pomelo is usually a surprise, with colors ranging from yellow to pink. In scientific terms, the pomelo, also known as Citrus grandis or Citrus maxima, is the largest citrus fruit in the Rutaceae family. It is the grapefruit’s primary ancestor.

It’s shaped like a teardrop and a thick, whitish skin with green or yellow flesh. It can grow to be as big as a cantaloupe or even bigger. Pomelo is sweeter than grapefruit and has a comparable flavor. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious addition to your diet. It’s time to try the magnificent pomelo if you haven’t before. Pomelos are a citrus fruit that is very underappreciated.

Pomelos, also known as pompelmoes, shaddock, or pummelos, are fruit with various names. South and Southeast Asia are the origins of these delectable citrus fruits. In the Caribbean, they have been given the name shaddock after the commander of the East India Company ship that originally brought pomelos to the west.

Pomelo is the largest citrus fruit and has a close resemblance to grapefruit. They may appear frightening due to their size, yet they are anything but that. The rind and thick membrane that surrounds the fruit account for much of its bulk. Unlike that of other citrus fruits, the membrane of the pomelo is highly bitter and considered inedible.

These huge citrus fruits have rough skin ranging from green to yellow and are round or oval in shape. Pomelos have a thicker pith than most other citrus fruits, with a creamy white, brilliant pink, or somewhere in between pulpy center.

Pomelos might have a lot of seeds, very few seeds, or none at all. Pomelos are commonly eaten as desserts in Southeast Asia, but they are also used to garnish salads. A salt mixture on top of pomelos is a common approach to lessen the sweetness of the fruit. Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit (hence its Latin name, Citrus Maxima, which literally means “biggest citrus”). Pomelos are high in vitamin C, just like other citrus fruits. They can weigh anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds, depending on the variety.

Basic Pomelo Varieties

African Shaddock, Red Shaddock, and Tahitian pomelo types are the most widely grown and consumed. These three non-hybrid kinds are authentic pomelos, with the sweet, sour, and tangy flavor that everyone enjoys. Each type has distinct traits that distinguish it from the others.

Let’s delve a little deeper into the pomelos’ world.

African Shaddock

This pear-shaped cultivar has a mild and pleasant flavor. It isn’t as acidic or harsh as some of the other types. African Shaddock has a chewier and rougher texture than other varieties. It’s great in salads and for everyday snacking.

Red Shaddock

Another African fruit, the Red Shaddock, has a rich, dark red flesh with an exceptional flavor, unlike any other pomelo. The flavor combination is sweet and pleasant with a somewhat acidic aftertaste. For many citrus fans, the ruby-colored fruit is a favorite. Peeling the rind is simple, and the rind is smooth and yellow.

Tahitian

This pomelo looks like a lemon, but it doesn’t taste like one. It has a bright yellow rind and rich yellow flesh. Tahitian is one of the greatest tasting types, if not the best, with an extremely sweet flavor profile. Although this pomelo has a lot of seeds within, it produces luscious and delicious fruit.

Popular Pomelo Varieties

Siamese pomelo.

Pomelo varieties, like any other fruit, are quite prevalent. Fruit hybridization (controlled speciation) has been practiced for ages. The approach involves plant propagation to create new varieties of tasty fruit to investigate. Hybridization can improve the flavor, texture, and appearance of the original fruit.

Almost every well-known fruit has been hybridized to some degree in today’s world. Bananas, apples, grapes, cherries, and, of course, pomelos fall under this category.

The following pomelo hybrids are well-known over the world and have distinct flavors.

Melogold

A white grapefruit and a Siamese Sweet pomelo were hybridized to form the Melogold hybrid.

It does not have a significant grapefruit zing in terms of flavor. Melogold is effortlessly edible, thanks to the sweet pomelo flavors that take over. Melogold develops quickly, making it excellent for harvesting early in the season. It will also intensify in sweetness if left on the tree till picked. Melogold, unlike other types, will not fall from the tree until it is completely ripe.

Chandler

Chandler is a hybrid of Siamese Pink pomelo and Siamese Sweet pomelo. Chandlers are notable for their huge size and circular form. The hue of the rind varies from yellow to yellow-pink. The flesh is pink/dark pink on the inside. Surprisingly, the pulp of a Chandler pomelo can have several distinct flavors within the same fruit.

Chandler is a popular pomelos variety. It’s a hybrid of the Siamese Sweet (white, acid-free) and Siamese Pink (acid) pomelos, produced in Indio, California, and marketed in 1961. It originated in the city of Riverside, California. The fruit is a nearly flawless globe, ranging in size from medium to large, with a smooth peel that occasionally has a reddish tinge. Pulp is pink to medium red in color, finely grated, delicate, and juicy. The segment walls are extremely thin. The flavor is superior to either parent; it’s subacid and has roughly 12% sugar. The fruit is seedy. It’s produced fruit early in the season, and the quality is good for storing.

Oroblanco

A mix between white grapefruit and Siamese Sweet, Oroblanco is related to Melogold. Oroblanco has a sweeter flavor than its younger sibling. When compared to Melogold, the consistency is improved. During the summer, Oroblanco ripens with exceptional sweetness and is often smaller than most pomelos. An Oroblanco is around the size of a grapefruit or a huge orange.

Cocktail Pomelo is a cross between a mandarin orange and a Siamese Sweet pomelo. It grows swiftly, making it ideal for the cooler temperatures of California. The flesh is soaking wet and brimming with seeds. With orange, pomelo, and grapefruit flavors all in one, it’s a terrific snack to have on hand.

The fruit has seeds and is exceptionally juicy, with a thinner peeling skin than most pomelos. The peel, flesh, and juice of a mandarin are all orange in color. The flavor is sub-acid and nice. Cocktail ripens in early winter, and the fruits stay on the tree for a long time. Cocktail trees can grow to be quite huge and strong. The fruit might be as large as an orange or as small as a grapefruit.

Valentine Pomelo

This pomelo hybrid is one of the most recent to be developed (2009). It’s a cross of three citrus fruits: Siamese, Mandarin, and Grapefruit. This triple threat steals the show because it combines a variety of textures, flavors, and scents into a single pomelo. The Valentine Pomelo got its name because it ripens around Valentine’s Day (February 14th), and when split in half, it looks like a heart.

Hirado Buntan

Hirado Buntan (‘Hirado’) is a name given to a chance seedling discovered in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, approximately 1910. The fruit is big, oblate, and slightly depressed. When fully developed, the peel is bright yellow in color, smooth, and shiny. The rinsing is medium thick and clings to the skin strongly.

Pulp is divided into many parts with thin, strong walls. The flesh is soft and juicy, with a pleasant, subacid flavor that is slightly bitter.

The quality will last if stored early in the season. The tree is quite huge, strong, and unusually cold tolerant. The leaves are large, thick, and winged widely. Hirado is Japan’s second most popular commercial cultivar. This variety appears to have at least two strains or clones. The white-fleshed pomelos include Japan’s original Hirado Buntan. The color is sometimes described as pale greenish-yellow. Hirado Buntan with pink flesh is a new Florida variety. Many growers have rapidly adopted it as a favorite.

Honey

Honey is the name given to the native pomelo variety by Chinese gardeners in Pinghe. Pomelo is pronounced in the same manner as a blessing in China. They also go by the moniker Reunion Fruit. The flesh of the Honey pomelo is claimed to be semi-transparent and seedless. It ranges in color from bright green to lemon yellow. Honey pomelo is said to have been grown in the Pinghe area for over 500 years. It can weigh anywhere from one to four pounds (12 to 2 kg).

Mato Buntan

Mato Buntan is supposed to have been transported from South China to Taiwan in the year 1700 and then to Japan considerably later. Mato is now one of the most popular pomelo types in Chinese Taipei and Japan.

Fruit is seedy, medium-sized, widely obovoid to pyriform, and broadly obovoid to pyriform. At maturity, it turns a light yellow color. Medium-thick rinsing, pebbled from protruding oil glands, and sticky. Membranes are thin but durable, and segments are numerous (12-16).

The flesh has a light greenish-yellow color, crisp and tough, and devoid of liquid. The flavor is sweet, slightly acidic, and occasionally bitter. It matures early.  The tree is stunted and undersized, with a circular top and drooping branches; the twigs and shoots are short and dense. The leaves are thick and big.

Pomelit

Pomelit pomelo is identical to the Indonesian Djeroek Delima Kopjor. The tree grows quickly, although it is prone to branch breakage when fruit loads are heavy. The fruit has a spherical shape with a flattened base. For a pomelo, the rind is thin, greenish-yellow to yellow, and smooth. The pink flesh is delicious and soft, having a finer texture than a conventional pomelo. The fruits are grainy but have a pleasant flavor. Pomelit develops quickly and stays on the tree for a long time.

Reinking

Reinking is a selected seedling from a cross of ‘Kao Phuang’ and ‘Shamouti’ oranges developed in Indio, California, although it is still a pomelo. The tree can grow to be quite huge, with massive leaves and drooping limbs. The fruit is pear-shaped and big, with a slightly flattened bottom and a thick, pebbled golden peel. The flesh is pale yellow in color and has a ricey texture that is luscious. Although the flavor is pleasant, the fruits are seedy. Reinking fruits ripen early and stay on the tree for a long time.

Sweet Siamese

Siamese Sweet is a sweet-tasting, acid-free pomelo from Thailand. It was first grown at the Citrus Research Center in Riverside, California, by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1930. The fruit is oblate to broad ovoid in shape, with white flesh and huge, crisp, non-juicy sacs that easily separate from one another. It has a mild flavor but is slightly bitter. The tree is a dwarf with drooping branches and hairy new growth. Many development programs have made use of this type. It is one of the progenitors of the pomelo-grapefruit hybrids, Oroblanco, Melogold, and Chandler pomelo and Cocktail pomelo-mandarin hybrids.

Thong Dee

Thong Dee (also known as ‘Khao Thongdi’ or ‘Golden’) is a Thai pomelo. Both the tree and the fruit have the potential to develop to enormous proportions. If there are citrus trees nearby, the fruit may contain seeds, but it is usually seedless. The fruit is delicious and pink in color.

The fruit is oblate and big, measuring 6 in (15 cm) across. The peel is reddish from the inside and about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick. The pulp is white with light brown streaks, and pulp sacs are big, easily separating from segment walls. The flesh is juicy, seedy, and has a pleasant flavor. Even in adverse conditions, the tree is strong and yields high-quality fruit. There appear to be many strains of Thong Dee; some produce pinkish fleshed fruit, while others are seedless.

Ugli

Originally, uglis were supposed to be accidental mandarin-grapefruit crossbreeds. Many parents are involved, according to a closer investigation of the many strands. Some botanists believe that a pomelo, rather than grapefruit, is the parent in issue, based on the monoembryony of the seeds. Ugli is a type of natural hybrid found in Jamaica.

Some are assumed to be sour orange, mandarin, and pomelo crosses, while others are thought to be pomelo and mandarin crosses. These are categorized as the ‘Ugli’ pomelo variety. Some Ugli varieties are sold as mandarin and grapefruit hybrids. They’re marketed as tangelos.

Who knew there were so many different varieties of Pomelos to choose from? Now that you know, you’ll be able to confidently choose and grow your favorite cultivars.

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