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Where Does the Grapefruit Come From

The grapefruit is a member of the citrus family and it is related to other citrus crops such as oranges, lemons and limes. It is known for being quite sour, often with a hint of sweetness (this does depend on the variety of grapefruit). It has long been popular as an edible fruit that is used for juicing, eating raw or in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. It is high in many nutrients that humans require and is a good source of vitamin C. There are many different varieties of grapefruit and these range in many different colors. Grapefruit grow on trees that can reach 15 m (49 ft) tall and the fruits grows in clusters, which is how it got its name. Let’s find out where this citrus fruit originated and where it is grown today.

Where did grapefruit originate?

A grapefruit tree with a number of fruit.

The grapefruit is actually a hybrid!

The grapefruit is actually a hybrid of two other citrus plants; the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo. It originated in Jamaica and, although some believe it was purposely bred, most historians believe that it was a naturally occurring hybrid. It was originally known as “the forbidden fruit” as was first described by Rev. Griffith Hughes in 1750, who was a Welshman that first came across the fruit in Barbados. The grapefruit was then spread to Florida by Count Odet Philippe in 1823 and it continued its spread from here.

Where are grapefruits grown today?
Today the largest producers of grapefruit are the United States, China, South Africa, Mexico, Syria and Israel. Other large producers are Israel, Turkey, India, Argentina and Cuba. The United States produces 1.5 million metric tons and China produces over 500,000 metric tons. Grapefruit are now grown in many countries throughout the world and this fruit can be grown on all continents apart from Antarctica.

Did you know?
The Ruby Red grapefruit was first produced in the United States in 1929. It was the first true commercial success and was also the first variety of grapefruit that was awarded a patent!

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