07 February 2011

On the Fine Art of Eating Grapefruit

'Tis the season for Texas Pink Grapefruit. I only just found out from a friend who spent some time in Texas that this is the superior variety of grapefruit. I was oblivious to grapefruit quality, previously; I don't eat them that often, so didn't appreciate that it's only now, in winter, that they're as good as this. But now I know. Texas Pink- too delicious.

We're not big grapefruit eaters in this house (hence my ignorance). I was first introduced to grapefruit-eating as a child in Germany, by an uncle of mine. He had spent some time in England and had learned to appreciate English Breakfast there, with its obligatory citrus fruit. Now, I'm thinking, in retrospect, they must have been a very different variety than the lovely Texas Pinks. Like Onkel taught us, we always smothered the top of the grapefruit half with a thick layer of sprinkled-on sugar- and yes, I had a very sweet tooth (okay, okay, I still do), but the grapefruit must have been considerably more sour and bitter, as well; doing that to a Texas Pink would be an abomination.

Now, as to The Fine Art of Grapefruit Eating. Start with one, lovely, round, pink Texas grapefruit (you can substitute other varieties, but it won't be quite the same). Take a sharp knife- I find a serrated bread knife works nicely, but actually, I just use those because there's usually one sitting around on the counter when I do this part of the process. Slice the grapefruit in half, right across its fat little belly. Get a spoon. It has to be a smallish spoon, teaspoon-sized, with a slender bowl and fairly pointy tip- the opposite of an egg spoon, in fact ("The Fine Art of Boiled-Egg Eating" will be another chapter in our series How to Eat Breakfast: The Artistic Way). Now carefully examine the cut surface of your grapefruit, admiring its luscious rosy-orange hue and juicy delectability as you do so. What you are looking for is the perfect starter segment. It has to be large enough to dig your spoon into without crushing the neighbouring segment, but you don't want it too large- the largest one is better saved for a later point in the process. You also don't want it to be situated directly next to a very small segment. Now, being right-handed, I eat my grapefruit in a counter-clockwise direction (I suppose left-handed people might go clockwise? If you are a Left-handed Texas Pink Grapefruit Appreciator, do let me know your grapefruit-eating rotation- it might be a valuable contribution to science.). So I make sure that the segment to the right of my starter point is the right size and shape to be suitable to its role of "last segment eaten". If it's too small, you can't get it out without crushing it, and that would be a shame. So, you have determined your starter point, your oh-so-suitable spoon is poised over the sparkling jewel-like surface- and you plunge in. With a careful twist of the spoon, at just the right point, your first bite comes loose. Aaah- an explosion of flavour, tartness and sweetness vying for your attention- grapefruit at its finest. Chew, swallow. Now, with the flat side of the spoon, carefully loosen the membrane that used to separate the next segment from the one you've just savoured. Pull it aside. Then wedge the spoon behind the next slice, and gently lever it out. Aaah- an explosion of... (oh, never mind). So you gradually lever-and-explode your way around the whole circle, counter- or clockwise as it suits you, until you come to the last piece, which you just sort of dig out- levering won't work any more because there's nothing to brace the spoon against. Okay, so now there's just one more thing to do: get a large spoon, like a soup spoon. Pour into it all that lovely juice which has puddled in the bottom of your grapefruit half- the more skillfully you've levered, the less juice there'll be- and tip it down your throat. Aaah- an explosion... (yeah, whatever).

Life, the Universe, and Texas Pink Grapefruits. Tune in next time to our series How to Eat Breakfast: The Artistic Way, as we explore the crunch and crumble of "The Perfect Piece of Toast".


  1. Oh very nice Angelika! Texas Pink and Ruby Red grapefruit are the best and yes when I was a kid we ate the white grapefruit with sugar (too sour otherwise) and even today in the grocery store I am suspect of many grapefruit even when they say red, they must say Texas! Oh and we have grapefuit spoons in our house, great pointy spoons with serrated edges! Yummy! My mouth is watering!

  2. I ate grapefruit the same way as a kid! And still do today - though with stevia. :)

    Our school band used to sell grapefruit and oranges for fund-raising every year, so I ate LOTS of them!!

  3. Yup, Sheila- you're the friend that educated me! :) Thanks again. I ate the other half of my breakfast grapefruit for lunch.

    @ Sheryl, try it without the stevia- right now the Texas Pinks are so sweet, you might not need it.

  4. You're too hilarious!! ROFLOL

  5. Anonymous20/9/11 10:39

    Here speaks your big brother:
    Another one of your delicious blogs! Just go on, Geli!!