Oro Blanco Grapefruit
Inventory, 14 ct : 0
Oro Blanco grapefruits are large fruits, averaging 10 to 12 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to ovate shape. The peel is smooth, glossy, and slightly pebbled with small pores that release aromatic oils, and the fruit transitions from green to yellow-green or bright yellow when mature. It is important to note that the fruit's skin color is not the primary indicator of ripeness. Fully mature, sweet fruits may be found covered in green patches. Underneath the peel, a thick, white, bitter, and spongy rind surrounds the pale-yellow flesh, and there are approximately 10 to 14 segments that are juicy, soft, nearly seedless, and tender. Oro Blanco grapefruits have an aromatic, floral scent and a delicate, sweet flavor with no acidic or bitter aftertaste.
Oro Blanco grapefruits are available in the fall through early spring.
Oro Blanco grapefruits, botanically a part of the Citrus genus, are a sweet, hybrid variety belonging to the Rutaceae family. The name Oro Blanco translates from Spanish to mean “white gold,” and is a descriptor used to highlight the fruit’s yellow flesh. Oro Blanco grapefruits are a natural cross between a white-fleshed grapefruit and a pomelo and were developed in California in the late 20th century. This relatively new hybrid is highly favored for its juicy, sweet flesh without the bitterness commonly associated with other grapefruit varieties. Oro Blanco grapefruits are still considered a specialty cultivar primarily found through farmer’s markets and select grocers. The fruit tree is also a popular home garden variety as it is an early-season cultivar that can be grown in containers, and the fruit holds well to the tree when maturing.
Oro Blanco grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can strengthen the immune system and contains anti-inflammatory properties. The fruits are also a good source of fiber to stimulate the digestive tract and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body.
Oro Blanco grapefruits are best suited for raw applications as their sweet, juicy flesh is showcased when eaten fresh, out-of-hand. The thick rind can be peeled by hand similarly to an orange, or it can be sliced into sections. It is also recommended that the membranes are removed from the segments for the sweetest flavor. Oro Blanco grapefruits can be cut in half and consumed fresh with a spoon, segmented and tossed into green and fruit salads, or juiced for cocktails and other beverages. The juice can also be used to flavor dressings, marinades, and sorbet. In addition to the flesh, the peel can be candied as a sweet treat or dried for use in teas. While not typically utilized in cooked applications, Oro Blanco grapefruit can be made into marmalade, jams, and jellies or boiled into a simple syrup. Oro Blanco grapefruits can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, complementing ingredients, including avocado, honey, ginger, herbs such as mint, rosemary, and basil, meats such as poultry, duck, and fish, other seafood, nuts such as pistachios, almonds, and walnuts, cucumbers, bitter greens, radish, and fennel. Whole Oro Blanco grapefruits will keep up to two weeks when stored at room temperature and up to one month when kept in the refrigerator.
In the United States, Oro Blanco grapefruits encountered cultural hardships due to their ripe green skin tone. Green fruits are generally associated with being immature and unripe in American markets. Many consumers, who were not familiar with the variety, would hesitate to purchase the sweet fruit straight off the shelf without additional knowledge that the fruit is ripe when still green. Despite the marketing difficulties in the United States, Oro Blanco grapefruits were also introduced into Israeli markets under the name Sweetie and were advertised as sweet when green. This new branding allowed the variety to become commercially accepted, and in Israel, the variety is primarily consumed fresh or juiced into beverages. In addition to selling Oro Blanco grapefruits, Israel created another variety known as the Jaffa Sweetie and still sells both of the fruits in fresh markets.
Oro Blanco grapefruits were developed in 1958 at the citrus experiment station at the University of California, Riverside. The large fruits were created by geneticists James E. Cameron and Robert Soost, and are a natural hybrid of a pomelo and white grapefruit, selected for their sweet, acidless flesh. It took over nine years to cultivate the fruit through traditional cross-pollination methods, and once test planted and researched, Oro Blanco grapefruits were patented and released to commercial markets in 1981. Today Oro Blanco grapefruits are available through specialty grocers and farmer’s markets in California and Florida of the United States and are also cultivated in Australia, Israel, and Japan.
Recipes that include Oro Blanco Grapefruit. One is easiest, three is harder.