Pomelo is a citrus native to the whole Southeast Asian region, yet some of the best pomelos are grown in the Tambun Valley in Perak, Malaysia. It is one of the original, non-hybrid citrus fruits – it’s often called the father of the grapefruit (sweet orange is the grapefruit’s mother).
The largest of all citrus, pomelos can be huge – some grow to the size of a basketball and can weigh a full kilo. The skin colour varies from green to yellow, and its rind can be as much as six centimetres thick. The almost seedless flesh ranges from white to pink, and sometimes orange. It can be eaten fresh or used as a garnish in both sweet and savoury dishes.
The pomelo is popular with Malaysia’s Chinese community, where it’s considered a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. It is the must-have fruit around Lunar New Year and is one of the ingredients in Yee Sang, the tossed raw fish salad that’s a traditional New Year celebration dish.
The Malaysian pomelo comes in two varieties, sweet and sour, and you can find both in Perak’s capital, Ipoh. Many visitors to Ipoh seek out pomelos during their trip, buying them from shops in Ipoh City, or directly from farms in the Tambun Valley. The best time to buy them is between November and March.
When shopping for the best pomelo, follow these useful tips:
1. The ideal pomelo is a ripe one that is full of juice. Choose one that’s heavy – this usually indicates it is extra juicy.
2. Check the navel at the base of the fruit. The pulp inside a ripe pomelo “opens”, meaning the segments separate from each other, leaving the centre open. When feeling the navel, it should be hollow and have more give when pressed. But don’t get carried away – the stall owner might give you a stern look!
3. Tap the skin. A thin rind will have a lighter, less dense sound. This indicates the pomelo is from a mature tree, which usually means more pulp.
The pomelo farm featured in this video is:
Tambun Pomelo GoChin Agro Farm
158258A, Jalan Ampang Tambun, 31400
Phone: +60 13-765 4189
Facebook: GoChin Tambun Pomelo Agro Farm 打扪高晶柚子园
Famous Malaysian Cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian Cuisine (MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.
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