It’s Cocktail Time!

Cocktail grapefruit, that is!  I love cocktail grapefruit and I’m always frustrated (and amazed!) at how hard they are to find.  I first found them at Trader Joe’s several years ago, and they are usually the only store that carries them. Every week since the holidays, I have been asking if they would be in this season since I didn’t see them at all last year.  My persistence finally paid off when I walked in the other day and saw an entire display of them at my local T.J.’s!  (I also saw a few at my local Harris Teeter grocery store – they were on the end caps with exotic fruits and veggies so keep your eye out for them, but they are cheaper at T.J.’s. if you can find them.)

I like grapefruit, although I don’t typically get overly enthusiastic about it.  When I first saw cocktail grapefruit, one of the nice Trader Joe’s workers explained that they are sweeter than other grapefruit and less acidic, so I decided I would try it.  An obsession was born!
They are, indeed, sweeter and less acidic but also way more interesting than that.  And they aren’t even grapefruit!

Their official name is a Mandelo, and they are a combination of a frua mandarin (tangerine) and a Siamese Sweet Pummelo.  (Hence the name, Mandelo).  It was never officially released to the public, so somewhat of a mystery as to how it is now available.  Gotta love a fruit mystery!

They are a bit smaller than what we’re used to seeing with standard grapefruit, they are super juicy, and they have lots of seeds.  I was once told that the reason they are not more readily available is that the typical American consumer won’t buy fruit with seeds in it.  Seriously?  They are big seeds, so you just move them out of the way.  Better yet, plant them and grow more fruit!

They make a great juicing fruit, but just peeling and eating is pretty great too.  This morning I combined some with pineapple, cara cara oranges, banana and homemade coconut milk yogurt for an amazing start to my breakfast.  So good!

High in Vitamin C and fiber, keep an eye out for them at your local store and give them a try.  They are delicious, and because they are only available once a year, they are a a special treat!

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