They can weigh up to seven kilos. You can store them for three months. And they grow inside a paper bag. Bet you didn't know how special pomelos are! To see them, we have to make quite a trip. That's because our Discovered pomelos come all the way from China. From Pinghe, to be exact. That's somewhere in the south-eastern part of this enormous country. The mountainous region is perfect for them, according to our grower Richard who knows everything there is to know about this very remarkable citrus fruit.
'No, not every pomelo weighs 10 kilos', Richard smiles. A good thing, since a single one would be enough for a whole meal. The pomelo might not be the most familiar citrus variety, but it certainly is delicious. As Richard demonstrates, you can simply peel it like an orange. ‘Cut off the top – watch out you don’t cut your claws, Yexi – and then make a few incisions in the peel from top to bottom. Finally, take the white membranes off the sections and it’s ready to eat!'
Hmm… we think they taste great. They have a mildly sweet and tangy flavour. And, like other citrus fruits, the pomelo also does something to keep you healthy. It has lots of vitamin C. At Richard's farm, they also know how to grow a good pomelo: one that tastes like honey. Richard sounds like a real biology teacher as he describes the methods. ‘Water is important. This ensures juicy fruit. You also have to pamper the soil a little by giving it the right fertilisers. We prune our trees on a regular basis, too.’
In China, a professional approach to growing and maintenance is really taking hold. The Chinese pomelo growers are certified by GlobalGAP and ISO 9001, to name but a few. The farm also maintains high standards for quality control. They even use a modern track & trace system so they can trace the origins of every single fruit.
People in many countries in Europe, Canada and Russia absolutely love pomelos. ‘The fruit leave here in shipments of hundreds of containers at a time. Especially to buyers like you with whom we've had such a good relationship for years. I don’t think I'd be lying if I told you our pomelos are the most delicious ones in all of China. Delightful flavour, a beautiful shape, and bursting with nutrients!’
'Is that story about the paper bags really true?' asks the very curious Yexi. ‘Yes, it is! When a pomelo starts to grow, we put a paper bag around it. The bag keeps the peel nice and clean. It also protects them from insects who like the taste of them, too. What's more, a pomelo covered by a bag will have a prettier colour.'
Aha, so that's why each of our Discovered pomelos looks good enough to eat!
Richard: 'We often make pomelo jam in China. You can use it as a spread for on your sandwich, as an ingredient for baking cakes, or as a flavour enhancer in savoury dishes. In China, we use this jam mainly to make hot tea or a refreshing cold beverage. Simply add it to hot or cold water and stir thoroughly. Really nice on a hot day!'