In Vietnamese culture, there is a type of fruit that is always present on the five-fruit tray of the altar every Tet holiday, which is the pomelo - a kind of citrus fruit. Pomelo is both delicious and nutritious, depicted as a symbol of perfection and completeness. Vietnamese locals have long been attached to this special fruit not only when eating, but also through childhood verses and songs.
This fruit is usually named after the province where it is found or planted.
A variety of pomelo types in Vietnam can be listed as:
Nam roi: specialties of Vinh Long province. It has a form similar to a pear. When ripe, the center is hollow and the skin is yellow with a rough surface.
Green skin (Da xanh): discovered in Thanh Tan commune, Mo Cay district, Ben Tre province. The name "Green skin" comes from the characteristics of the fruit that when ripe, the fruit remains green. The skin is usually thin and the center of the fruit is pink.
Doan Hung: grown in Doan Hung - Phu Tho. The skin is thin, yellow when ripe. The flesh of the fruit is yellowish, and has a sweet taste.
Dien: Derived from the sweet pummelo Doan Hung, grown in Phu Dien commune - Tu Liem – Hanoi. When ripe, the fruit is more eye-catching compared to the Doan Hung ones, the citrus is thick and sweet, and deserves to be a local specialty.
Phuc Trach: Planted in Huong Khe - Ha Tinh. The fruit is slightly flat, the skin is thin when ripe, yellow in color; its flesh is dry, yet stimulates a delicate taste.
How to eat
Pomelo is an extremely nutritious, refreshing and healthy fruit of Vietnam. However, the stitching and peeling of this fruit takes time, making foreigners, and even locals afraid to do it. First, use a knife to cut off the bottom and top of the grapefruit, close to the center until the inside layer comes out. Then, separate the citrus into each piece, and peel the silk skin of the citrus to enjoy the sweet and sour taste of this summer fruit.
Where are pomelo grown in Vietnam
Depends on each type of pomelo, the origin and planting is different. Take the famous Nam Roi pomelo as an example, the fruit is widely grown in some Southwestern provinces of Vietnam, especially Vinh Long. This fruit specialty is delightful, nearly seedless, juicy, sweet, mixed with a mild acidity flavor. Its cousin, the Green skin pomelo, firstly grown in Cho Lach, Ben Tre, has been replicated in many places around Mekong Delta, providing a great source of income for Vietnamese farmers. Nevertheless, there are also other varieties of pomelo such as Dien pomelo - planted mainly in Cau Dien district, or Phuc Trach pomelo - grown in Ha Tinh province.
Benefits of pomelo
Pomelo is not only a fruit for dessert, but also has many useful values. These Vietnamese citrus fruits with a high vitamin C content are very refreshing and can boost your energy in a blink of an eye with just one bite. From the pomelo flowers to the leaves and pulp, all can be processed to make medicine, delicious and nutritious foods as well as drinks and sweet desserts, really loved among Vietnamese cuisine.
Moreover, Vietnamese women used to dry the pomelo skin under the sun, then boiled with hot water and used that boiling water as a shampoo for hair. It is said that the citrus fruit’s peels have the effect of smoothing, untangling and making your hair look silky and healthy.
Food made from pomelo
This heavenly made pomelo has great purposes such as weight loss, easy digestion and beauty enhancement. Besides, it is also used for processing snacks that gain Vetnamese people’s love throughout the years: drinks such as smoothies, juices, jam or sauce for savory dishes.
The most famous among the dishes made from pomelo must be the signature Vietnamese dessert - Che Buoi. With just one teaspoon of this dish, visitors will taste the sweet and creamy, rich flavor of childhood, promising to bring your memory back to the golden padding fields, mid summer air of the nostalgic Vietnamese village.
Other than that, the pomelo jam commonly made on Vietnamese New Year's Day, is perfect for house owners to serve the homecoming guests. The jam not only has a sweet flavor, but it also has the effect of treating cough and sore throats - a tasteful Vietnamese medicine.
Does anyone know where I can get seeds of the Ky Da Pomelo offered in Hanoi markets?
Ky Da is only available during Tet holiday time, it will be sold in almost every local market in Vietnam.
Being geographically located in the tropical zone, Vietnam is truly a heaven when it comes to fruits.
An overview to the different types of cake in Vietnam.
An introduction to Vietnamese noodles.