Meet Melogold Grapefruit (and a 5-Minute No-Churn Grapefruit Gelato Recipe)

by Dorothy Reinhold on January 14, 2012

Print This Post Print This Post Melogold Grapefruit and a 5-Minute No-Churn Grapefruit Gelato Recipe

Meet the latest rock star in the produce department – Melogold Grapefruit, a large, sometimes greenish yellow-skinned citrus that could be president of the grapefruit class. Big and handsome? Sweet?  Good for you? Plays well with other fruits? Check, check, check and check!

Melogold GrapefruitA cross between a pummelo and a white grapefruit, this one has skin much thicker than a regular grapefruit, is nearly seedless, and extremely juicy and sweet. How sweet? So sweet you won’t need to add any sugar, even if you are a sugar-sprinkling grapefruit eater. (I’m not, but my husband is, and even he conceded that this baby needed no additional sweetener.)

My man-cub, 9, ate some and said, ‘Wow, that is the most grapefruity grapefruit ever! It’s SWEET!” This is a boy who, while eating his breakfast cereal, hugs the sugar bowl as if it were his best friend, so that’s a measure of how sweet this fruit is.

Developed in the 1980s at that citrus incubator UC Riverside, Melogolds are grown in California’s Central Valleyand are officially a cousin to an Oro Blanco, another sweet hybrid grapefruit.  They have a short season – January/February/March, so get them when you see them.

They got their name from mellow flavor (low acid) = Melo, and gold for the deeper color of the rind than Oroblanco, so Melogold. The fruit is pale yellow, and you can either eat it on its own, or toss into a fruit salad.

With the history and accolades out of the way, we settled down to peel and eat one. Honestly, it’s so large that 2-4 normal people can share one, depending on appetites. At my abnormal house, each kid ate an entire 1 ¼-pound fruit. (I’m not complaining.)

Here’s a brief tutorial on how to peel and prepare them for a lovely looking presentation.

Peeling a Melogold Grapefruit

Melogolds are easy to peel by hand. They have a substantial pith.


Melogold peel

The peel is very thick!

Melogold segments

Separate the segments by hand.

Peeling Melogold membrane

The membrane covering each segment peels off easily by hand.

Melogold membrane

A whole Melogold will leave you with a handful of membrane to discard.

Melogold Grapefruit on a plate

Place each peeled segment on a plate in a pretty pattern.

Melogold Grapefruit

Eat out of hand. (Glittery nails optional!)

I also ran across a super easy recipe for a Grapefruit Gelato, a sweet, tangy, custardy dessert that I figured would highlight the great flavor of Melogolds. While honestly this sweet wasn’t universally loved at my house, I think it is terrific and fun, and since my vote counts triple, I’m sharing it with you today!  If you adore grapefruit, trust me, you’ll like this. And the two at my house who didn’t love it initially have been caught sneaking tastes of it after dinner, so there.

No Churn 5-Minute Grapefruit Gelato

Recipe: No-Churn Grapefruit Gelato

Summary: This creamy, sweet-tart, dense, frozen dessert is enough like gelato that we’re appropriating the name. It takes 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to stir together and a night to freeze. Call me for dessert!


  • No-Churn 5-Minute Grapefruit Gelato 2 cups regular cream (not heavy)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh Melogold grapefruit juice
  • Zest of Melogold grapefruit, finely grated (you might want to use only ¾ of the zest from a whole Melogold, since it is a huge fruit)
  • Pinch kosher salt


  1. Whisk all ingredients together and pour it into a lidded container. Freeze for at least 8 hours, or better yet, overnight.
  2. To serve, small scoops go well with fresh berries or fruit, plain cookies or even a sprinkling of granola on top.
  3. Serves 8-10.

Quick notes

Source: Adapted from a recipe by Donna Kelly and Anne Tegtmeier at the charming blog Apron Strings.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Freezing time: 12 hours
Number of servings (yield): 8-10
Culinary tradition: USA (Nouveau)

Disclosure: Melissa’s Produce  provided samples of the citrus mentioned in this article. There was no expectation or requirement of endorsement. My opinions, as always, are my own. 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anand Rana August 12, 2017 at 7:24 am

This Melogold grapefruit as you have described is a very old fruit whis we have been eating in Durban, South Africa, I remember in 1950’s. WE USED TO CALL IT “bomlimuch” or “pompomaas”. The fruit is whitish or pinkish. If you eat the fruit and immediately dring water you will get a bitterish taste in your mouth. We eat it with a sprinkle o0f salt. ENJOY!


Dorothy Reinhold August 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Fascinating! So interesting to hear your perspective on it from South Africa!


Alice February 14, 2014 at 12:19 am

Just bought two today and it’s really really delicious. Sweet low sourness mixed with grapefruit scent. Wonderful fruit. The melogold got my attention in the Japanese supermarket because it looks like a larger size of summer-orange, and new breed of grapefruit introduced by Japanese farms. Melogold’s color and appearance, and its taste exactly like summer-orange, just size is bigger. Really happy with this purchase. I think I will go back to that supermarket and buy more tomorrow.


Dorothy Reinhold February 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

You have described them perfectly! Now you have me wanting them. I’m getting my car keys and hitting the market!


Donna January 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm

So happy you liked the gelato ~ True, It’s not for everyone! Cheers!


Dorothy January 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

It is worth noting that my tasters, the 2 who didn’t fall in love immediately, have both been sneaking bowls of this.
So there! They might THINK they don’t like it, but I know better!


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