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Cyprus grapefruit are medium to large in size, averaging 10-15 centimeters in diameter, and are round to oblate in shape. The peel is smooth, firm, and semi-glossy with many prominent lenticels, and has a yellow-orange hue with a pink blush. Underneath the peel, there is a bitter, white layer with a dry, spongy consistency connected to the flesh, and the flesh is divided into 11-14 segments by thin membranes. The dark red flesh is soft, aqueous, and contains a few to many cream-colored seeds. Cyprus grapefruits are tender and juicy with a sweet-tart, mildly acidic flavor.
Cyprus grapefruits are available in the late fall through early summer.
Cyprus grapefruits, botanically classified as Citrus paradise, are large, aromatic fruits that grow on evergreen trees that can reach up to six meters in height and belongs to the Rutaceae family. Cultivated on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, Cyprus grapefruit is a general descriptor used to encompass many different varieties of grapefruit grown on the island. Cyprus has an ideal climate for citrus, grown on large plantations across the island, and the majority of the fruits are cultivated for export. The name Cyprus grapefruit has become a global mark of quality for sweet, juicy fruits, and these fruits are highly prized in Asian and European markets for fresh eating.
Cyprus grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and also contains some potassium, magnesium, and folate.
Cyprus grapefruits are known for their juicy flesh and are popularly consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The flesh can be segmented and tossed into salads, blended into smoothies, baked into cakes, muffins, and shortbread, served over ice cream, or layered with cooked meats. They can also be juiced and consumed as a sweet-tart beverage, used as a flavoring in cocktails, or cooked into marmalades and jams. Cyprus grapefruits pair well with avocado, blood oranges, kumquats, strawberries, cilantro, tarragon, chamomile, rose water, meats such as poultry, fish, and pork, and spices such as cardamom, cloves, and ginger. The fruits will keep up to one week at room temperature and for 2-4 weeks when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
In Cyprus, the city of Limassol holds the annual Citrus Flower Festival to celebrate the beginning of spring. Held in April, this festival honors the scents of the various citrus flowers, and traditional sweets, performances, and food are offered during the day. There are also demonstrations of how flower water is produced, which is a favorite commodity of the city. Limassol is known as one of the major regions for grapefruit production on Cyprus, and beyond the Citrus Flower Festival, the city is home to many food, wine, and beer festivals throughout the year. Grapefruit peels are also popularly used to produce essential oils on the island and are believed to help promote healthy hair, nails, and skin.
Grapefruit is believed to be a spontaneous sport of the pomelo and was first recorded on the island of Barbados in 1750. The fruit was then spread to the United States in the early 1800s and to Europe, Asia, and South America in the 1900s. Today Cyprus grapefruit is grown on the third largest island in the Mediterranean and is exported to other regions of Europe, Asia, and Southeast Asia, found at local markets and specialty grocers. The Cyprus grapefruits in the photo above were discovered at a fresh market in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.