Pomelo Fruit: What is a Pomelo and How to Eat One

Ever wondered what is a pomelo fruit? Or how to eat pomelo? Then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve only recently discovered pomelo fruit and I can say this large citrus fruit is delicious. So I did some research to find out where pomelos come from, some ideas for eating pomelo, as well as tasting one for the first time.

What is Pomelo and How To Eat One - Pomelo Fruit Cut in Half
Pink Pomelo Fruit

But first I wanted to share how this article came to be written.

Not so long ago, my husband went to the supermarket to do the grocery shopping and picked-up a pomelo fruit in the exotic fruit section. He had never eaten one and wondered what a pomelo would taste like. And he was excited to share his new supermarket find with his wife and family.

When he finished his shopping, he proceeded to the checkout where he was quietly shocked to find his new fruit discovery would cost him $7. For one piece of fruit. But instead of admitting the cost of this fruit may be a little high and discretely returning the pomelo back to its exotic fruit section of the fruit aisle, hubby decided to proceed with his purchase, all the while calculating how he might justify the purchase of one $7 citrus fruit.

When he arrived home, with his shopping and his expensive fruit, hubby excitedly declared I should write an article on pomelo fruit and how to eat one!

And after trying the pomelo fruit, I agreed it would be a great topic to write about.

Related: Star Fruit (Carambola): How To Eat it and What it Tastes Like

What is a Pomelo Fruit?

Holding a Pomelo - What is Pomelo and How To Eat One
Holding a pomelo fruit. This one has light green skin and pink flesh.

Pomelo fruit comes from the citrus family with its closest relative being the grapefruit. And actually, the pomelo has often been called a grapefruit but it is in fact a fruit in its own right. The botanical name for pomelo is Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis, which is appropriate because this fruit is large. They can also be known as pummelo, pompelmoes, shaddock, Chinese grapefruit and Bali lemon.

How big are pomelo fruit? Pomelo are actually the largest fruit in the citrus family (Rutaceae) and can grow to a huge 25 pounds (11kg) but on average they weigh 2-4 pounds (1-2kg) and grow to a sizable 6-10 inches (15-25cm) diameter. Much of the size of pomelo is made up of a thick pith which is the white spongy layer under the rind (skin).

Pomelo originates from Southeast Asia and is now grown in tropical regions around the world. Some pomelo fruit are more sour then others and the amount of seed can vary from very few seeds to many. The color of the skin is either yellow or green and the flesh color varies from yellowy white through to pink.

Like my husband, you can often find pomelo fruit in the exotic fruit section of the supermarket.

Pomelo Fruit Taste

Holding Pomelo Fruit Halves - What is Pomelo and How To Eat One
Pink Pomelo fruit cut in half showing the thick white pith and pink flesh segments

What does a pomelo taste like? Pomelo fruit is both sweet and sour and tastes similar to grapefruit. Though they are often sweeter and less tart than a grapefruit.

The pomelo can be less juicy than other citrus fruits. And less juice means they’re not as messy to eat but still contain all the delicious citrus flavor.

How To Eat Pomelo Fruit

Inside a Pomelo fruit - What is Pomelo and How To Eat One
Peel the pomelo fruit membrane to reveal the edible flesh

Pomelo fruit typically contains 11-18 segments separated by a membrane which is not usually eaten. So peel it away, discard it (because it’s tough, bitter and inedible) and enjoy the jewel-like inner flesh. This makes eating the fruit a little different from eating grapefruit or other citrus fruit where the membrane is eaten. But the extra effort in removing the pomelo membrane will be worth it.

The juice from pomelo fruit is delicious and the fruit can be juiced for drinking as it is or mixed with other fruit juices and drinks.

Pomelo rind can be preserved or even candied.

Other ideas for eating pomelo fruit include:


Pomelo fruit is delicious to eat on its own and makes a tasty addition to many dishes. And next time I’m passing the exotic fruit section in the supermarket I’ll be looking for pomelo.

I’d love to hear you’re favorite way to eat pomelo.

Some of My Favorite Kitchen Items:

Further reading:

What is Pomelo Fruit and How to Eat One

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