Do you like grapefruit, I do but tend to put lots of honey on it before eating! Then I tried the Tahitian pamplemousse, which is the French word for grapefruit.

This grapefruit is different. It is yellowish on the outside with a flat bottom, then you open it up and it is GREEN! Now that will change your margaritas! 

In my travels through the islands I had heard the “story” that a Belgian botanist (say that fast 10 times!) had crossed a regular grapefruit and a Tahitian lime. Well, after much research this “story” remains a story as it is thought the original seed of the Tahitian pamplemousse actually came to Tahiti from Borneo via Hawaii. The Tahitian grapefruit is actually a pummelo. I kinda like the “story” better. 

The marvelous thing about the Tahitian pamplemousse is its taste. It is sweeter and smoother than any grapefruit I have every tasted, so I fell in love with it!

When we were sailing across the South Pacific we were in Bora Bora waiting to depart for Rarotonga in the Cook Islands some six hundred miles away. We were ready to go but for one thing, waiting for the ship from Papeete, Tahiti for our final provisioning for the trip which the ship would bring. The owners of the Yacht Club knew I loved the Tahitian Pamplemousse, so they ordered some for me and it arrived! A whole case of them, must have been about 12! This for a 3 day trip. Since the growing of Tahitian Pamplemousse is limited to Tahiti and it is citrus, the importation of any citrus into the Cook Islands and most other islands due to pests is prohibited. This is why you must not bring in fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and other fresh things into the islands by plane or cruise ship. We knew this, so began eating pamplemousse immediately! By the time we arrived off of Avarua, Rarotonga, we had two to go! When we came in while chewing the last of the pamplemousse, the Agriculture inspector came on board and laughed at all the grapefruit rinds we had in the trash for them to burn!

One note here, have you ever subsisted on a diet of citrus, well leave it to DON’T! 🙂

When you travel to Tahiti and her Islands, don’t miss the Tahitian pamplemousse and dream of Borneo or the famed Belgian Botanist that isn’t!

Enjoy the day! Find a new vegetable or fruit to try today while at home to begin exploring.

Kleon