February 16th, 2012 | Fruit Maven

If you pride yourself on your pithy prose, then this is the fruit for you!

Let’s talk about pith. Or actually, let’s learn a new word today — albedo. I heard this word on one of the tours at the UC Riverside Citrus Collection a few weeks ago and I jotted it down to look up when I got home. I don’t like to let an opportunity go by to learn to use a word that I can throw out later to impress people at snotty parties (not to be confused with snot parties, which are more geared toward the toddler crowd). You may be briefly wondering why I bother to go to snotty parties. The truth is, I really don’t. But I like to have a fancy word in my pocket just in case. You never know!

So it turns out albedo is simply the botanical word for pith, the spongy and often bitter, protective layer between the fruit inside and the zest layer on the outside. Put another way, the albedo (or pith) + the zest = the peel (or skin or rind).

So the next time your friend cuts open a fruit like this one, you can think of me and calmy say, “Oh hey – look at the albedo on that baby! It forms the outline of two perfect mitten shapes on that pommelo. How perfectly delightful!” To which your friend will likely either laugh or just look at you puzzled – both fun in my book.


APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★☆☆

Humongous (this is the largest planet in my citrus solar system project after all!). Pretty green skin with 1 inch thick albedo and pink flesh.

AROMA Rating: ★★★☆☆

Clear but mild grapefruit.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★½☆☆

Pretty difficult to cut with a common butter knife (whereas the Melogold I was also tasting cut easily). The flesh was almost crunchy with some juice. No seeds.

TASTE Rating: ★★★☆☆

Extremely mellow, slightly sweet grapefruit flavor without any bitterness and very little acidity.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

This citrus was basically crunchy and bland, which are not words I’m ever hoping to say after eating citrus, particularly one I associate with the complex and assertive profile of a grapefruit. Bleh.


Pommelos also go by the name pummelo, pomelo, Chinese grapefruit and shaddock. I personally would go by shaddock if I were a pommelo. It has a certain cowboy swagger, which I feel I would need if I tasted like this.

Grocery Store

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