In my last post I had included a photo of the pomelo tree. Some of you had said that you’d never heard of the fruit. Since I had some pictures with me I thought I’d share them.
The pomelo is the largest citrus fruit in the world. Its botanical name is Citrus maxima. The fruit is known by several other names too. Here are some of them– shaddock, Chinese grapefruit, pummelo, and jabong.
Here’s what the blooms look like before they finally open.
Sweet smelling white flowers fill the air with their fragrance in late February/early March. On one of my return journey from my parents’ home I had brought a handful of blooms wrapped in my handkerchief. As I write this it isn’t just the smell but the associations of the day that comes back. It was the last time that I saw my father move a little and smile a little before he passed way in April. It was the last journey with my sisters and my brother-in-law together. My brother-in-law passed away in July. Somehow the March wind and rain, the fragrance of these blooms, and the blooms themselves, scattered on the ground, will always be associated with these memories.
Green unripe fruits on the tree in July. Notice how red ants have sewn up the leaves and made their nests.
The pomelo is native to Southeast Asia and all of Malaysia, and grows wild on river banks in Fiji, Tonga, and Hawaii. It may have been introduced into China around 100 B.C. It is widely cultivated in southern China (Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Fujian Provinces) and especially in central Thailand on the banks to the Tha Chin River; also in Taiwan and southernmost Japan, southern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Tahiti. The pomelo is also known as a “shaddock,” after an English sea captain, Captain Shaddock, who introduced the seed to the West Indies in the 17th century from the Malay Archipelago. Source.
The rind is thick and spongy. The seeds are large, and the flesh, juicy. It tastes like grapefruit and we like to mix the flesh with salt, sugar, some chopped green chillies, mint and a bit of oil. The juice is most refreshing too. Here’s a recipe that you might find interesting…… http://www.food.com/recipe/thai-pomelo-salad-332132
All the pictures, except for the fourth and the last, were taken in my parents’ garden in Haflong. In my part of the world, most home gardens have a tree or two. People say that the fruit tastes best during the rice harvesting season in winter.