A food that was once known as “the forbidden fruit” has become a staple at many tables.
Though first found in the 1750s, it wasn’t until the 1800s that the grapefruit lost its risqu title of forbidden fruit. A Jamaican farmer called the fruit “grapefruit” for the grapelike clusters in which it grows on the tree. Shortly after, grapefruit made its way to the United States in the form of seeds brought by either Spanish or French settlers to Florida. Eventually, in the early 1800s, the first grapefruit seeds were brought to south Texas, most likely by visiting Spanish missionaries.
Almost every spring since then, the air of the Texas Rio Grande Valley has been filled with the sweet and lingering scent of citrus blossoms. Among the palm-tree-lined groves stretching for miles across the Valley exists a sweet slice of culinary cuisine that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Today, this tradition is being shared around the world. Last season, Texas shippers exported more than 23 million pounds of grapefruit to such countries as Australia, Belgium and Japan, to name a few. No matter what country they are in, chefs and home cooks alike use Texas Rio Star Grapefruit to add a sweet, tangy twist to everyday meals and desserts. For instance:
In Asia, grapefruit is served as a decadent dessert topped with a rich ginger syrup. Some Scandinavian countries, such as Sweden, add snow peas, grapefruit and scallops to their casseroles before covering them with melted raclette cheese. For a tasty salad, Australians mix crisp watercress, cilantro and fennel with grapefruit sections and olive oil.
South Texas is known for its fusion of Mexican and American cuisines. By adding sweet Texas Rio Star Grapefruit to a traditional guacamole recipe, you can take a common Tex-Mex dish and call it all your own:
Texas Citrus Guacamole
1 Texas Red Grapefruit
2 large ripe avocados
2-3 tablespoons minced purple onion
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (add more to flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peel and section grapefruit, reserving 2 tablespoons of juice. Measure 1 cup sections; cut into bite-size pieces and set aside. Peel avocados; mash with a fork until somewhat smooth, leaving some small chunks. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Gently fold in grapefruit juice and sections. Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving time. Yield: about 3 cups.