National Grapefruit Month is celebrated in February. This month we celebrate the fruit known in scientific circles as Citrus paradisi, or “Fruit from Paradise”: the grapefruit.
The History of Grapefruit
Grapefruit were first discovered in the forest of the Caribbean island, Barbados. A natural hybridization of the pomelo and the orange, It is one of the most widely-cultivated fruits in the United States today. The grapefruit tree is a subtropical, evergreen, medium sized tree, which grows to about 45 feet in height, with the fruit growing in clusters (hence, the name grapefruit). The fruit can be white, pink, or Ruby Red, and can have few or many seeds.
Some facts about grapefruit:
Each fruit contains 10 to 12 sections, called arils. A grapefruit can be sectioned and eaten like an orange.
A grapefruit is 75% juice. One medium grapefruit will give you about 2/3 cup of juice.
Freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, when stored covered in the refrigerator, will retain 98% of its Vitamin C for up to a week.
Seventy percent of the grapefruit grown in Florida is grown in an approximately 200-mile-long strip of land along the Atlantic Coast known as the Indian River Citrus District.
The health benefits of eating red grapefruit in particular are well documented. To find out more, please see our blog post from last May, “Health Benefits of Red Grapefruit”.
Grapefruit are in season in Florida from October to May. After purchasing, they can be kept at room temperature for a few days. For longer storage place them in the fruit/vegetable compartment of your refrigerator. They will keep well for up to 3 weeks.
Florida Oranges, they are world-renowned and known for their flavor, quality and juice! But do you know what part of Florida the best of the best oranges are grown? That’s right, Indian River oranges are the finest in the world today.
Why are Indian River oranges superior? Consider these 3 factors:
Temperature protection. The unique geographic location Indian River oranges have to the gulf stream protect it from the freezing temperatures the rest of the state of Florida might suffer from. The shape of Florida in the particular section Indian River oranges grow juts out more eastward into the ocean than any other section of the state, situating the Indian River oranges out in the warm ocean.
Flat geography. Most of Florida is flat, and Indian River oranges benefit from that. Orange groves can actually flood their fields with warm water when a cold front is on the way to the Indian River area. The water radiates heat through the cold snap, keeping the Indian River oranges protected from the cold.
Coquina limestone. Indian River oranges and Indian River grapefruit tap into the minerals provided by the coquina limestone unique to Florida. The minerals and nutrients provided by the coquina limestone fuel the Indian River citrus during their growing cycle.
Did you know that 8-10 million crates of Indian River oranges are shipped to the north east each year and the biggest consumers of Indian River Citrus is Japan? 95% of all citrus that is exported out of the US goes to Japan, comprising of 11 million cartons a year! Europe consumes ~5 million cartons per year and historically 80% of this fruit comes from Indian River Citrus. As of right now, Indian River Citrus is shipped to over 23 countries making this a global delicacy! So the next time you go to the store, make sure you grab a Florida Orange grown right here in the Indian River area and you know how lucky you are to have access to the best oranges in the world! Send fruit trays and fruit baskets of Indian River oranges to your friends and family on orangering.com.