Almost 50 years ago, it was the illustrator B. Kliban that published a cartoon depicting a man being served an outlandish platter of nondescript, indecipherable mound of food. “Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head,” proclaimed the caption- rather flatly for a humorist, I might add. While that’s generally sound wisdom, especially when presented with a garbage heap of questionable edibles, there’s an exception to every rule. In this case, that exception goes by the name of pomelo.
If you’ve seen these supersized citrus before, you’d know they can grow to monstrous proportions. The average weight is somewhere between two to four pounds each, with particularly robust specimens tipping the scales at ten to twelve pounds, all told.
Don’t let their daunting size deter you. Beneath that thick rind, neatly sealed away in pockets of thin membrane, lie juicy segments that combine all the best best aspects of grapefruit flavor. Bright, floral, acidic yet somehow lacking that characteristically bitter, mouth-puckering sour taste. While they can be treated just like more common lemons and limes to make vinaigrette, marinades, lemonade, and more, their distinctive texture lends them to preparations that utilize the full flesh, rather than just the juice.
Segments separate easily into networks of pods that bear droplets of the sweet, tangy liquid. They’re firm enough to mix into salads while maintaining their structure, which is the most common way pomelos appear in Southeast Asia, where they thrive. In this case, though, they form the base of one salsa that melds all five tastes, to balance perfectly on one chip. Sweet, salty, sour, bitter and savory, there’s no prepared mixture that even comes close.
Pomelo salsa is a prime appetizer to serve with tortilla chips of course, but its full potential goes way beyond the first course. Use it to top tacos, stuff burritos, or complement any range of grilled meatless proteins for a quick, satisfying meal.
Were he still around today, I would challenge Mr. Kilban to reevaluate his statement after trying these oversized fruits.
- 1 Pomelo (About 2 - 2 1/2 Pounds)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
- 1 Jalapeno, Seeded and Minced
- 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro, Minced
- 3 Scallions, Thinly Sliced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom from the pomelo, slicing deep enough to reveal the fruit. Score the peel from pole to pole about 8 times, at regular intervals.
- Firmly but gently pull away the peel, including the white pith. Cut the segments free from the papery membranes on both sides.
- Use your fingers to separate the segments into smaller, bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. This will take the bulk of the prep time, so be patient! It's practically done from here.
- To finish the salsa, simply add the bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and salt into the bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Serve right away, or for best results, chill for at least 1 hour before dipping in.
- Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the salsa will keep for 3 - 5 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.