It’s no secret that grapefruit is an acquired taste with its sour and slightly bitter flavor. If you can get past the pucker, your body will benefit from the immune system boosters and huge Vitamin C punch that’s packed within the fruit. Grapefruit is enjoyed by many, especially at breakfast time or in its juice form. But how did the grapefruit come about? Unlike its other citrus cousins, the grapefruit doesn’t occur naturally in nature.
It’s actually a hybrid cross of a pumelo and a sweet orange! Someone by the name of Captain Shaddock is said to have brought the first pumelo seeds to Jamaica and crossed it with sweet orange seeds. The result was the first grapefruit, known until the 19th century as shaddock or shattuck in honor of the Captain. Today, we call it grapefruit, named because of how it grows on trees (clusters resembling grapes).
Grapefruit made its arrival in the United States in 1823. Here, the most popular variety is the Ruby Red, slightly sweeter than the original and known for the right red flesh on the inside.