Can you tell apart an Oroblanco or Sweetie from a white grapefruit? Is an Oroblanco the same thing as a white grapefruit? Is the Oroblanco a type of white grapefruit? Is the white grapefruit an Oroblanco? Or is an Oroblanco different from a white grapefruit? Tough questions.
Is Oroblanco the same thing as white grapefruit?
The Oroblanco and the white grapefruit are actually different fruit. While both are citrus fruit, genetically similar and related, they are nonetheless different species. It’s true that they look alike, quite a lot actually. It’s really very easy to mistake an Oroblanco for a white grapefruit, even if you’ve had both of them before – that’s how much they look alike.
What is Oroblanco?
The Oroblanco is part pomelo and part grapefruit. More specifically, the Oroblanco is a hybrid citrus fruit, a cross between a pomelo (Citrus maxima, Citrus grandis) and a grapefruit (Citrus paradisi). It’s also commonly referred to as the ‘Oroblanco grapefruit’ and ‘green grapefruit’ because of how much it looks like a grapefruit, a white grapefruit to be more exact. And because it’s part grapefruit. Oroblanco is also known by the names Sweetie or Oroblanco Sweetie, or pomelit.
What is a white grapefruit?
A white grapefruit is a variety of grapefruit with light colored flesh, lemon yellow or pale yellow. There is also grapefruit with pink, orangey-pink or red flesh. Just like the Oroblanco, the grapefruit is a citrus fruit and a hybrid. More specifically, the white grapefruit is a cross between a pomelo (Citrus maxima, Citrus grandis) and an orange, the sweet orange, to be more exact (Citrus sinensis).
What does the white grapefruit look like?
A white grapefruit is a large to very large citrus fruit – fruits are visibly larger than sweet oranges, easily 3 to 4 times larger. Some fruits can easily weigh 5 kilograms or more and are comparable to melons in size.
The white grapefruit is round and slightly flattened at the top and base. It has a relatively thin peel, thinner than that of sweet oranges, and smooth. The peel can range in color from a deep lime-green to a light lemon-yellow (sometimes tinged with green) to a warm yellow color, sometimes lightly blushed.
The peel doesn’t stay green however, but turns yellow as the fruit continues to ripen. While yellow peel white grapefruit are the most commonly seen in the produce section, green peel ones are also available.
The white grapefruit has a thick albedo (the white spongey part between the peel and flesh) and segmented flesh just like in oranges. The flesh itself is not white, despite the fruit being called a ‘white grapefruit’. It’s more of a lemon-yellow or pale yellow color. The seeds are few and whitish. The membrane separating the grapefruit segments is very thin.
What does Oroblanco look like?
An Oroblanco looks a lot like a white grapefruit, hence why it’s so easy to mistake it for one. It also looks like a pomelo. The Oroblanco is a large citrus fruit, at least 3-4 times larger than an average sweet orange (although cultivar and growing conditions can affect size).
Just like a white grapefruit, an Oroblanco is round and slightly flattened at the top and base. The peel starts out a beautiful, deep, lime-green, but changes color and ultimately turns a warm, mellow yellow. You can eat it both when the peel is green and when it’s yellow and it’ll taste just fantastic either way.
The peel itself is thin, but the albedo (the white spongey part between the peel and flesh) is very thick, similar to white grapefruits. The flesh is segmented, separated by a very thin, see-through membrane, and a pale yellow color. Below is a set of pictures I took of two Oroblanco fruit at different ripening stages.
The name ‘Oroblanco’ comes from ‘oro blanco’ which is Spanish for ‘white gold’, a reference to the very light yellow flesh color of the Oroblanco which was a highly appreciated characteristic. The seeds, if present at all, are usually very few and underdeveloped because Oroblanco is supposed to be seedless.
What does the white grapefruit taste like?
Not all white grapefruit tastes the same: variety, maturity of the fruit and growing conditions all contribute to the taste of the fruit. This being said, white grapefruit has marked bitter flavors, and varying degrees of acidity. It’s not a typical sweet fruit, but it’s nonetheless flavorful and fresh, with crisp, juicy flesh.
What does Oroblanco taste like?
The Oroblanco may be called an Oroblanco grapefruit and have grapefruit ancestry, but it doesn’t taste quite like a grapefruit. It actually tastes more like a pomelo which is understandable since it’s a hybrid of pomelo too.
More specifically, the Oroblanco has a mildly sweet, but flavorful taste, with pleasant bitter flavors and just a bit of acidity, if any. The flesh of Oroblanco is juicy and crisp and separates very easily from the peel which factors into the appeal of the fruit.
This post was updated on Tuesday / November 16th, 2021 at 12:21 AM