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In season early spring: Grapefruit

In season early spring: Grapefruit

Grapefruit were introduced from Australia to New Zealand in the mid 1800s. Grapefruit thrive in a subtropical climate (the fruit was discovered in Barbados), and some varieties grow well in the northern parts of New Zealand. Grapefruit grown in colder climes tend to be more bitter and lower in acidity and water content.


Grapefruit varieties have different-coloured flesh: red, white or pink. New Zealand grapefruit is more commonly orange inside. Choose heavy fruit (which tend to be juicier), and avoid grapefruit with soft spots and skin decay.


Grapefruit last for up to one week at room temperature or up to eight weeks stored in the fridge.


Grapefruit are rich in vitamin C and have good antioxidant activity. Grapefruit can, however, interact with certain medications increasing their absorption, possibly to toxic levels. Check with your GP or pharmacist if you’re on medication.

Using grapefruit

Simply cut the fruit in half and sweeten with a little sugar, honey or a spice such as cinnamon or cloves. Peeled segments add some tang to salads, or try a tangy dressing to complement a salmon salad: combine grapefruit juice, water, wasabi and garlic in a screw-top jar, shake, then season with a pinch of sugar. Try this Zingy prawn platter recipe using grapefruit.

Did you know? The grapefruit got its name from the way the fruit grows, in clusters, on the tree.

First published: Sep 2010

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