Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rio Red Grapefruit: Citrus Paradisi

Citrus Paradisi? Yes, "Citrus of Paradise" is the botanical name for grapefruit, and if you've ever tasted the Rio Red variety, you know that it really is a paradisaical fruit. With its pink blush exterior and deep ruby red, juicy sweet interior, this fruit bears little resemblance to the acidic white and pale pink varieties which once dominated the grapefruit market.

Rio Red season is just beginning, and citrus aficionados are already perusing local produce markets for the first fruits of this year's harvest. Good quality Rio Reds will be available for at least another few months; at the height of the season they will be plentiful and reasonably priced. Select fruits which seem heavy for their size, which indicates lots of juice. Rio Reds keep well and continue to sweeten after picking, so don't hesitate to buy in quantity.

Little preparation is needed to enjoy this fruit; simply cut up some room temperature Rio Reds and serve in a bowl. Fresh squeezed Rio Red juice is dangerously habit forming. If you have some Minneola tangerines on hand, squeeze one or two and a Rio Red for a superb citrus juice blend. Or cut up a couple of Rio Reds and toss with a spoonful of your favorite nut butter. This light quick meal will leave you feeling energetic, healthy, and a little bit closer to paradise.

Note: For those who must refrain from eating grapefruit because of interactions with prescription medications, don't overlook the excellent navel oranges, Minneola tangelos, Satsumas, Clementines and other seasonal citrus fruits which are now plentiful and delicious!