For a while (actually, for all the years of my life), I’ve been curious how the tradition of eating grapefruit with a spoon vs. peeling it emerged. Is it because they’re so big, and most people wouldn’t eat a whole one, like an orange? Is it because people like to sprinkle sugar on the surface to combat their tartness? Is it something people have just always done it that way because their parents did it…but no one knows why?

Well…I accidentially peeled open a small grapefruit, mistaking it for an un-orange orange until I was part way through the peeling process, and decided to give it a shot. A few observations that support the halve-‘n-spoon method…

  • they peel rather hard…at least the one I have. Skins are tough but thin…and cling pretty hard to the fruit
  • the sections also come apart hard. I had to eat a group of three sections together since I didn’t feel like fighting with the thing and getting sticky fingers that would lead to a sticky keyboard
  • just not as enjoyable to eat as oranges. This one was quite tart. I ended up pouring a plate of sugar to roll each piece in. Much less mess to top a halved grapefruit with sugar and eat it out of a bowl.

And not in favor of the halving method:

  • you don’t run the risk of popping your eye–or the eye of a neighbor–with acidic citrus juice when peeling and sectioning a grapefuit. With membranes intact, it’s a pretty safe snack.

In summary…I’ll probably just stick to oranges…peel them. They’re better.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

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