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Grapefruit Doesn’t Totally Suck

Grapefruit Doesn’t Totally Suck

Admittedly, as a child, I didn’t much care for grapefruit. I think I once said it “tasted like earwax” (don’t bother asking how I knew what earwax might have tasted like). But my judgment of grapefruit shifted when I was a teenager and on a trip to Thailand. I am not certain if this is still the custom, but a popular street food in Thailand was a halved grapefruit, wrapped in cellophane with a tiny wax paper packet of chili and salt (and sometimes a touch of sugar). This hot and salty mix, when poured upon the sour juicy pink flesh of a grapefruit brought out all of the sweetness you never thought possible from such a maligned bit of citrus. From that day forward, while I would hardly call myself a grapefruit enthusiast, I changed my mind about the true potential of grapefruit.

Now with the season of grapefruit upon us, it is high time to take a look at, as well as a taste of, the humble grapefruit. Sure the abundance of grapefruit in supermarkets, as well as winter gift baskets, brought the subject into the forefront, but so did writer Katy Waldman’s angry grapefruit screed published earlier this week on Waldman proclaims that “grapefruit is disgusting” as well as impossible to eat. “Grapefruit is unwieldy, disgusting, and in some cases dangerous to eat. It is indisputably the worst fruit anyone has ever put on a plate.” Waldman goes on to enumerate all the ways in which she abhors this globe of citrus and why you should too. She cites everything from grapefruits ability to inhibit the metabolizing of essential medications (like Lipitor and Zoloft) to her opinion that it tastes “…like a bad-tempered orange soaked in kerosene, like a pack of stale Warheads rehydrated in vinegar, like a sock filled with battery acid.”


No one can argue that grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and calcium, but how good or bad they taste is obviously up for discussion. Where do you stand on the grapefruit debate? Delicious and nutritious, or a cruel joke played upon consumers by citrus growers? Any favorite ways to consume grapefruit?

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Read more: Basics, Blogs, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Following Food, Food, Health, Vegan, Vegetarian, ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


+ add your own
11:28PM PST on Feb 11, 2013


11:40AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Grapefruit tastes great, even as a kid I've always enjoyed it! Thanks!

6:12PM PST on Jan 26, 2013


10:46AM PST on Dec 20, 2012

I've tried to like grapefruit since I was about 6 years old. I have yet to find any way to make it paletable. Those of you who like it are welcome to my share of it.

8:55AM PST on Dec 18, 2012

Grapefruits are great! One doesn't need to eat one every day either! The somewhat astringent taste--its capacity to make you pucker!--is actually quite a healthy trait and once you get used to it, quite pleasant. Unless you are a sugar addict, the taste too is delicious with just a delightful hint of sweetness underneath.

8:29PM PST on Dec 17, 2012

I eat a grapefruit every morning with my artificial sweetener on it. I love grapefruits. My doctor said I could eat them and I have diabetes and high cholesterol, she said to eat the grapefruit in the morning and take my cholesterol medication at bedtime.

3:13PM PST on Dec 17, 2012

Thank you Eric, for Sharing this!

8:18AM PST on Dec 17, 2012

Did Ms. Waldman check her facts before rushing to print? How come websites publish such hysterical nonsense? Grapefruit might not be to everyone's liking but her descriptions are pure invention and very far from the truth! Maybe I shall create a petition for people to be more responsible when they post articles on the Internet.

4:12AM PST on Dec 17, 2012

Oh my gosh, I love grapefruit so much. I haven't had the pleasure of eating one for many years now because it conflicts with my medication.

3:10AM PST on Dec 17, 2012

BTW, these are yellow grapefruit - everyone wants red these days.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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