Ruby the Grapefruit Is Back in Town
December has arrived in windy, wintry fashion and I'm happy to be snug indoors, yes indeed. But with the cozy comfort from the cold comes the inevitable drying effects of indoor heating. Parched doesn't even describe the feeling. (Is this what it's like to be a porcini mushroom?)
Thankfully, hydration relief has arrived in area produce aisles. Her name is Ruby and she's from Texas. I'm talking big mama, softball-sized grapefruits with a deep red-velvet flesh that practically sparkles and quenches like nobody's business.
The Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas is prime red grapefruit country, and I say, welcome y'all Texas gals. In stores, you'll meet Rio Star, a sweet red head, and her sister, Ruby-Sweet, whose interior is more pink and a bit more tart.
I love starting my winter days by sinking my teeth into a few Ruby grapefruit segments while my coffee's brewing. The juicy tang of its red flesh wakes up my body, surging through my blood stream like a B-12 shot and rehydrating my overnight-raisin self.
It's no surprise the grapefruit makes me feel like a million bucks. Loaded with Vitamins A and C and a good source of fiber and folate, it's also chockfull of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Earlier this year, there was talk about grapefruit's newly discovered powers of lowering cholesterol.
As I munch happily on my red grapefruit, I know there are plenty of grapefruit fans out there who eschew Ruby for Snowy, aka "the white grapefruit." Instead of Texas, the white grapefruit comes from Florida and the Caribbean, which is where the grapefruit seems to have been discovered in the first place.
If you're not as keen to slurping on a grapefruit wedge by its lonesome, consider incorporating the grapefruit into your cooking repertoire. This juicy sweet-tart loves bitter greens, such as arugula and watercress, and plays nice with other hard-to-pair vegetables such as endive, fennel and radicchio. Red onion is a great grapefruit match, and if that sounds intriguing, take it another step further with a diced fresh chile and a handful of chopped cilantro for a kicky salsa to pair up with fish or scallops.
Did you know... that the grapefruit probably got its name because it grows on trees in grape-like clusters and that its name in French is a lot sexier -- pamplemousse.
So, are you a Ruby grapefruiter or a member of the Snowy club? Or maybe grapefruit makes you run for the hills. Weigh in on this very juicy matter in the comments area below.
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Posted by: jp | December 4, 2006 2:32 PM
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