The Pummelo is called by many names in different parts of the world. It is known as Chinese Grapefruit, Pomelo, and Pompelmoes. It is also called Shaddock after an English sea captain who introduced the fruit seeds to the West Indies in the 17th century.
The common Grapefruit ancestry can be traced back to the ancient Pummelo. It is a large exotic citrus fruit. It comes in shapes that can be either roundish, globose, or pointed (pyriform) at one end. The sizes can range from a large 25-pound watermelon to the size of a small cantaloupe. The outside skin is yellow to green with a thick, soft rind. The inside pulp ranges in color from pink to rose.
There are varieties of Pummelos that can be full of seeds to those which are almost seedless. The fruit is grown and thrives in countries in the East like Japan, Fiji, China, India, Malaysia, and Thailand. They are now being grown in the states of California and Florida.
It is believed in China that if you eat the traditional Pummelos in the New Year, it will bring good fortune, prosperity and elevate the status of the one eating it.
Almost all of the Pummelos have a somewhat acidic flavor or a lingering sweetish flavor. They all have a pink or red pulp. The following list of Pummelos being presented will give you an idea of the names and varieties as well as their characteristics.
Varieties of Pummelos
Pummelo originated from Malaya. It was later introduced to Taiwan and from there to Japan. They are large and round; their skin is smooth and pale yellow in color, with the same color of the pulp. It is a tender fruit, very juicy, and with an excellent sweet acidic flavor.
Pandan Wangi Pummelo
Because of its large oil glands, the fruit peel is rough and quite thick. The red pulp of this fruit is coarse and difficult to remove from the sacs. This variety of Pummelo is grown in Java and is roundish or oblate in shape. It is juicy and sweet.
The fruit of this variety is round or slightly pear-shaped. It grows in the Banda and Ambon islands, Java and Batavia. About one inch thick, the peel is smooth and contains a smaller rindless fruit inside the apex. The pulp of this double could be white, pink, or even red. Usually seedless and rarely with seeds, it is sweet and juicy. Among the locals, it is known as Lemon Banda, Lemon Bonting, or Lemon Pompelmoes.
The cultivation of this particular kind began in Japan in 1910. It is a large oblate, brightly yellow peeled, and glossy with pale greenish-yellow flesh. Faintly bitter in taste, with a sub-acid flavor, it is mediumly juicy.
This is a hybrid of Siamese sweet (white) and Siamese pink (acid). It is medium in size and has a smooth peel. Their shape is either oblate or globe-like. The core is small, and the flesh is pink. Fairly juicy with a superior flavor. It was developed in California in 1961.
Hom Bai Toey
These are non-commercial types of Pummelo. Round and a little depressed in the middle, it has a smooth yellow peel, has a strange aroma, is not juicy, and has a bitter flavor. It grows in Thailand.
Kao Lang Sat Pummelo
Another Thai variety, the Kao Lang Sat is an oval pyriform with both ends being furrowed; it has a little rough-to-touch peel. A fruit of inferior quality with a very sweet non-acidic flavor. The pulp is pale pink and has a peculiar scent.
This variety of Pummelo is grown in Java. The skin is pale green even when it is completely ripe. The pulp is red and juicy and tastes somewhat acidic sweet. The shape of this fruit is highly oblate and is flat at both ends.
Kao Pan Pummelo
This has been growing in Bangkok, Thailand, for over one hundred and sixty years. Flat at the base, globe-shaped, with a light lemon yellow skin. It is eaten like a pomegranate. The fruit is sweet and juicy with just a faint acid flavor. The Kao Pan is thought to be the most delicious of Pummelos in Thailand.
The Tresca fruit comes in many shapes ranging from being round to pear-shaped or even oblate. It is mediumly sized has a light yellow and smooth peel. The color of the pulp ranges from pale orange to pink. It has a good juicy flavor, but also many medium-sized seeds.
Kao Phuang Pummelo
It is commercially cultivated, high in demand, and also exported to countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Hongkong. The fruit is longish, pear-shaped, with a neck. It has a shiny, smooth greenish to the yellowish rind. The flavor is excellent; it is very juicy, a little acidic, and not at all bitter, with very few seeds.
Daang Ai Chaa Pummelo (Red Bantan)
Neither very sweet nor acidic, this round and smooth variety of pummelo is from Thailand. The color of the pulp is rich red, and it is really juicy.
Kao Ruan Tia Pummelo (White Dwarf)
This Pummelo is larger in size than the Kao Phuang and is in the shape of a bell. It contains many seeds, has a good flavor, and is pale yellow from the outside. This is one more variety among the Pummelos that are grown in Thailand.
Popularly called the Tahitian grapefruit, it is a Pummelo that has a relatively thin peel, which is amber in color and has an extremely juicy pulp. The taste and quality of this fruit are excellent and hence is very popular amongst the locals.
Khun Nok Pummelo
Very much like the Kao Pan, it has a fine flavored pulp of good quality, and it comes from northern Thailand.
Originally from China, pear-shaped or obovoid, it has a pale yellow rough peel and contains white pulp.
Apart from the usual medicinal uses of the fruit, the flowers and the wood that comes from the Pummelo trees are used in the perfume industry and for making wooden tools.
We hope this blog helped you identify and gave you an insight into the wide world of Pummelo varieties.