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The pomelo (or Chinese grapefruit, pummelo, pommelo, jabong, shaddock or Jeruk Bali), Citrus maxima (Merr., Burm. f.), also Citrus grandis (L.), is a citrus fruit, usually a pale green to yellow when ripe, larger than a grapefruit, with sweet flesh and thick spongy rind.
Cultivation and uses
The pomelo is native to Southeast Asia and all of Malaysia, and grows wild on river banks in Fiji, Tonga, and Hawaii. It may have been introduced into China around 100 B.C. It is widely cultivated in southern China (Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Fujian Provinces) and especially in central Thailand on the banks to the Tha Chin River; also in Taiwan and southernmost Japan, southern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Tahiti. It is also grown commercially elsewhere, particularly California, Florida, and Israel.
The pomelo is also known as a shaddock, after an English sea captain, Captain Shaddock, who introduced the seed to the West Indies in the 17th century from the Malay Archipelago. In the Pacific and Asia, it is known as jabong and in Chinese it is called yòuzi (柚子) (not to be confused with the yuzu, which uses the same kanji but is a different species), while it is called som o (ส้มโอ) in Thai, and buntan or banpeiyu in Japanese.
The pulp colour ranges between clear pale yellow to pink to red, and tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit. It is the largest citrus fruit, growing as large as 30 cm in diameter and weighing as much as 10 kg; the peel is thick, and is sometimes used to make marmalade.
The peel of the pomelo is also used in Chinese cooking or candied. In general, citrus peel is often used in southern Chinese cuisine for flavouring, especially in sweet soup desserts.
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Pomelo after being cut
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Pomelo after being sectioned
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Flesh of the pomelo
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Pomello on tree