Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day Nineteen: Doesn't Taste Like Grape To Me

I think grapefruit (the ruby red variety) has some of the prettiest flesh of any fruit I've ever seen. It looks so inviting. It smells so wonderful. Its essential oils are even used in aromatherapy. But then you bite into a segment and the grapefruit kicks your butt.

Well, it kicks my butt. The sides of my tongue, where the majority of my bitter-sensitive taste buds live, are buzzing. They actually hurt a little. And I know I said I liked food with so much flavor it made my mouth hurt, but this is just ridiculous. Especially since I have a pretty good tolerance for bitterness. When it's properly balanced, I think it's the equal of any of the other flavors and can add deep layers to a dish. But when you eat grapefruit plain, or even from a cup, where it's floating in sugar water, the bitterness overwhelms.

I ate about a half cup of grapefruit segments this morning, as a mid-morning snack. I had intended to eat the whole cup, but I couldn't make it. The smell of the grapefruit kept enticing me, and I enjoyed the initial sweetness of the fruit, but then the bitterness kicked in, and when I say kicked, I mean kicked. Ouch.

I love grapefruit soda (Squirt being the most popularly known variety), but I notice that none of the fruit's bitterness translates into the grapefruit flavoring. Maybe a little of it does--but in a much more palatable way. I've seen recipes for salads containing grapefruit segments, and I'm guessing if those salads are well composed, they're probably delicious. But grapefruit alone? I just don't know how people do it. I also don't know how people make things like grapefruit meringue pies, grapefruit cakes, or grapefruit frostings (all those recipes can be found here). But I do know that grapefruits get their name from the cluster formation in which they grow, not because they have anything else in common with grapes. I know it was first bred in Barbados. Like other citrus, it contains lots of vitamin C. The pink varieties contain lycopene. They make special grapefruit spoons for people who like to dig into a grapefruit half every morning. I don't think I'll be investing in a grapefruit spoon.

1 comment:

  1. I love grapefruit! It is a bit overwhelming on the bitter side, but when I was a kid, my Grandma would give my sister and I a grapefruit half and put sugar on it. I still do this from time to time when I eat a grapefruit. It heps curb the bitterness and makes it quite a delightful snack.