It’s no secret I adore grapefruit. I’ve even been caught, in public, saying quite embarrassing things about the depths of my love. It’s a love that cuts deep. Today I’ll show you just how deep you should cut and prepare your fruit.
I apologize, dear reader. We are at the very tail end of a glorious white grapefruit1 season, so you very likely won’t be able to get your hands on such a glorious globe as the one pictured here. Fear not! The prep advice offered below is even more appropriate when used on inferior yet widely available red varietals.
The Center Cannot Hold
The center of citrus fruit is roughly analogous to the umbilical cord; it is the highway for nourishment to reach the segments. This marvelous cell structure is responsible for the delicious contents of the fruit, yet it alone is horribly distasteful. The flavor is nearly only strong bitterness. It should be removed. It also imparts a bitter flavor outward into the fruit – the juice sacs adjacent should also be removed. You can see the area below in green on mouse-over:
How to Field-Strip a Grapefruit
So here’s how to do it:
1. Cut through the fruit at just below half, where the fruit bulges the most.
2. Cut each of these two pieces again in half, through the central column.
3. Cut these quarters in half again, carefully through the central column.
4. Here you can see the 1/8th of fruit with the column still attached.
5. Cut through the juice sacs and remove the bitter central column with adjacent sacs.
6. Each such prepared 1/8 of a normal-sized grapefruit should yield ¾oz of flavorful juice2.
And that’s how you do it! If in a hurry, only 4 cuts are needed to have a 1/8 segment, ready to juice. Grapefruit a la minute.