Did you know that one of the best growing regions in the country for growing grapefruit is in Texas? Learn all about Texas grapefruit, from when to find to why it is among the best grapefruit grown from sea to shining sea.
When it comes to citrus two states seem to get all the press. It's the battle between Florida and California?
Who is the best?
In my experience neither of those places can claim hold to the king of grapefruit.
Texas may not be the first state on people's mind when you ask them about citrus, but whenever I am shopping for or recommending grapefruit, I always look for the Lone Star State.
So what makes Texas grapefruit so great? Let us teach you why.
? Origin of Texas Grapefruit
Lots of people are history buffs, well I am a produce history buff. I love to hear the story of how something we come to enjoy got it's start.
The grapefruit has a great story.
Grapefruit has been grown in Texas since the 1800s. It is believed that missionaries brought the first seeds to the Lone Star State. The varieties that were grown were all white and pink grapefruit at the time. Over time growers noticed some pink grapefruit that were darker than the others. This was the birth of the red grapefruit in Texas.
This took place at one of the most trying times in our country, the Great Depression. What a perfect time for a much needed discovery.
Texas growers became very passionate about their new red grapefruit. A lot of work was put into developing redder varieties. To the point where red varieties became the only varieties grown in Texas. In fact in 1962, all pink and white varieties were actually banned.
❓ Why is Red Grapefruit Better?
So what is so great about the red grapefruit? Two main reasons - flavor and sweetness.
The red grapefruit has a deeper, more intense flavor than it's less colorful cousins. It also is sweeter, which helps better balance out the grapefruit's nature bitterness. Darker pigments in foods are seen has having greater health benefits.
? What Makes Texas a Great Place
Grapefruit is not grown in just any part of Texas, the major growing region is the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The climate there is sub tropical, the soil is fertile, and there is plenty of sunshine. It is located at the southern most tip of Texas, where the Rio Grande forms the border between Texas and Mexico. The "Valley" is actually not a true valley, but a flood plain.
? When In Season
The peak season is October to March, with supplies lasting into June usually.
You can nearly find Texas grapefruit in stores year round. The summer months and early fall are times in which they will be harder to find. Because grapefruit stores well, it's easy to have on the shelves long past the harvest season.
When you can't find Texas grapefruit, there will usually be some from California in the stores. I would say its more uncommon to find imported grapefruit.
? Where to Buy Texas Red Grapefruit
Texas grapefruit has grown to be so popular that you can find it in just about every grocery store when it's season.
Look for them in 5 pound bags in bright, bold Texas colors. If they are loose, check the stickers, it will tell you whether they were grown in Texas.
? Mail Order
Want to get some Texas grapefruit without having to leave your house? Check into these options for mail order fruit. We have not tried these services so I can't say how good they are. Just wanted you to have a list of place to start. Let us in the comments below if you have tried any of these:
- Pittman & Davis
- Crockett Farms
- Bell's Farm to Market
- Winter Sweetz
- South Tex Organics
- Earth Born
- Fredericksburg Farms
- Winter Texans Online
What is your favorite source for Texas grapefruit? Leave a comment below.
? More Citrus
Here are some other types of citrus you will want to read about