I wish my pomelo tasted better….

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Growing up in a tropical country, I was surrounded with a lot of lovely fruits from my grandfather´s garden. My grandfather, back to the time when his health was better, used to do a lot of gardening. His old house, about 25km north of Hanoi, had front and back gardens. The front garden was full of lovely flowers and bonsai trees. And the back garden was a heaven of tropical fruits – banana, guava, longan, oranges, pomelo, star fruits, custard apples and a lot more. Every summer during my schooldays, I used to stay with my grandparents and stuffed myself with fruits, fruits and more fruits. We used to have so much that my grandmother had to sell some in the local market…

I remember my grandparents had two or three big pomelo trees. Two trees gave the normal white flesh. The other one gave fruits with pink flesh which had incredible taste, juicy and lightly tart. It was so good, I couldn´t forget the taste! Some of you might not have pomelo before. Here is some information. Pomelo belongs to the citrus family, and it is very similar to grapefruit. It is, however, sweeter and normally less juicy. Native to Southeast Asia, pomelo is also the largest citrus fruit. The normal fruit easily weigh 1-2 kilos, and sometimes can be bigger.

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Pomelo is loved throughout Asia. It can be eaten fresh, put in salad or dessert. The skin contains aromatic citrus oil and is often extracted to produce mali (or pomelo) essence. This essence is used widely in my home country to flavour sweet pudding. On top of that, the oil is used in the production of soap & shampoo since pomelo extract is well known for cleansing effects.

At this time of the year, some Asian groceries in Melbourne carry pomelo. I bought some, but was not very impressed with the taste. The ones here are not as juicy and sweet as those in Asia. In fact, they have a rather bland taste. To finish it up, I made a very simple pomelo and prawn salad. Flavoured with sweet and sour dressing, the pomelo salad tasted quite nice. But if the actual fruit was of better quality, it would be splendid. Note that a more glorious version of pomelo salad is very popular in Southeast Asia.

Sorry I don´t have an extract recipe for this Pomelo & Prawn Salad. But it was very simple. The dressing was made of lime juice, sugar and a bit of fish sauce. The herbs used were coriander, Vietnamese mint (laksa leaves). I garnished the salad with fried shallot flakes and toasted pine nuts (peanuts are more traditional).

This post is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. Founded by Kalyn, WHB is going strong every week with lots of herbs and delicious food. This week, it is hosted by Anna of Morsels & Musings. Head to her blog for a fantastic round up later!

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13 Responses to I wish my pomelo tasted better….

  1. Lydia says:

    This looks light and wonderful. I love the combination of prawns and citrus.

  2. Kalyn says:

    It does look wonderful. I’ve seen this type of fruit in the store, but never tasted it.

  3. sher says:

    I loved reading this post. Your description of your grandfather’s garden reminded me of scenes from one of my favorite films, Scent of Green Papaya. Sorry your pomelo wasn’t what you wanted, but the pictures are beautiful.

  4. Cindy says:

    Ah huh! I saw a pomelo on Iron Chef last week, I think, and I was wondering what this large citrus fruit was. :-)

  5. Gattina says:

    oh yes I remember pomelo!!! But my mother wasn’t good at choosing fruit, back then getting a good one just like hitting a jackpot … but as you said, if they are good, really splendid!

  6. Asha says:

    Good reading.That reminded me of my own childhood in my grandfather’s coffee plantation,sorrounded by coffee plants, Orange ,Cardamom ,Pepper and Jack fruit trees!!

  7. Susan says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I had my first pomelo a couple of years ago here in Southern California. I’ve only had the white-fleshed type. I really liked its tartness but found it rather dry. This year’s crop is better though, so I’ll have to try this recipe. Citrus and seafood are beautiful together, just like your photo!

  8. Angie says:

    What a refreshing dish. Sorry tpo hear the pomelos didn’t taste good, but I find it hard to find sweet pomelos here too.

  9. Anh says:

    Lydia, thank you.

  10. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Anh, this salad is so beautiful, full of wonderful colors and flavours!

  11. Brigitte says:

    I made a pomelo salad last year on my 40th birthday. Mine was with dried shrimps.

  12. Helene says:

    I´ve never come around pomelos. But there´s an Asian store in town, perhaps they can find some. Great dish! :))

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