A Third Way To Eat a Pummelo

February 28, 2011

Previously on Keep It Up, David: Inspired by a tweet sent out by fellow weight-loss blogger Julia, I bought a pummelo, and hacked it apart and consumed it in a manner I learned from a YouTube video (which I can also thank Julia for tweeting, so thank you!).  After blogging about it (read the post and see the pictures here), another blogger, Reinaldo, suggested another way of eating pummelos, so, when I bought my second pummelo, I ate it that way (and blogged about it, with pictures and everything, here).

Guess what?  I bought my third pummelo, and used a third method to eat it!  To refresh your memory, here’s what a pummelo looks like:

It’s the biggest citrus fruit in the world.  Bigger than navel oranges, bigger than grapefruit.

My friend Nicolette suggested, in a comment on the blog, that I try eating a pummelo like she eats a grapefruit.  Since pummelos are very similar to grapefruit (in that they’re big and sour, although not quite as sour), I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Turns out the way she eats grapefruit is the same way I ate grapefruit growing up.  My mom used to prepare grapefruit for me and my siblings this way when I was little (which she learned from her mom), but I haven’t eaten a grapefruit this way in years and years (I’ve bought grapefruit in the past year, and gotten free grapefruit from my friend Tavi’s tree, but I’ve just been juicing them).

Here’s what you do:

1) Cut the pummelo in half, around its equator, so to speak:

2) Using a paring knife, cut around the perimeter of the flesh, separating the edible part from the rind:

3) Then cut on either side of each membrane that radiate from the center to the outside:

(By the way, taking these photos with my left hand while cutting with my right was no easy feat!)

4) Once you’ve cut along both sides of each membrane, you’ll easily be able to lift individual segments of pummelo out with a spoon:

Mmm, pummelo!  Growing up, my mom would sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on the grapefruit before doing all the cutting, just to sweeten it up a bit.  She also had grapefruit spoons – spoons with serrated tips that were especially designed for digging out grapefruit sections.  Here’s what a grapefruit spoon looks like (although my mom’s don’t have hideous handles like this one does):

After I ate all the segments, I squeezed all the juice into a glass:

Here’s my juice bounty:

I took about half of it, and added it to a tall glass of sparkling water that I made with my SodaStream, and voila! Pummelo-flavored sparkling water!

The other 1/2 of the pummelo juice I chugged, like it was a shot.  Delicious!

I like this method of pummelo consumption, mainly because it’s easy, relatively tidy (you don’t end up with puddles of juice on your plate or counter), and, for me, there’s a nice nostaglia factor.

Anyone else out there got any fantastic pummelos ideas?  I’m definitely planning on buying a fourth pummelo… help me figure out how I’m gonna eat it!

Keep it up, David!


Platinum Card AND Another Pummelo

February 19, 2011

I got a little something in the mail the other day – a Platinum card.  While I do have good credit, it’s not a new Visa or MasterCard – it’s from Casual Male XL:

I’ve been a long-time member of Casual Male’s Rewards program – basically, every time I spent a couple hundred bucks there, I’d get a gift certificate for $10 to use on my next visit.  As Casual Male XL was one of the two Big and Tall stores in my area, I was getting those gift certificates a couple times a year.  Now, it seems, they’ve targeted me for a bigger, better Rewards program.  Apparently my spending habits make me an ideal candidate for their Platinum Prestige Program – at no cost to me! There’s just one problem – I’m done with Casual Male XL.  I stopped shopping there about 6 months ago (read my open letter to them after shopping there for the last time), because after losing so much weight, I found I could shop pretty much anywhere I wanted, which, by the way, is an incredible feeling after not being able to shop at many places at all for so many years.

I still get, however, mailings from Casual Male XL, and I’m still technically a member of their Rewards program, and I still get their catalogs.  I get lots of Big & Tall catalogs, from a bunch of retailers.  One arrives, on average, about once a week.  For a while I was using them to create a little humor on the blog (read all the Big & Tall Catalog Model Drama installments by going to My Favorite Posts and scrolling down), but now, I’m just getting sick of them.  Here’s my current catalog collection (which I was holding on to in case I wanted to use them somehow for the blog):

Bye-bye catalogs!  You have a hot date with the recycle bin in your future.  I’ve also added to my to-do list calling each company and removing myself from their mailing list.  I’m done with big and tall!  Done!

Moving on…

Earlier today I ate my second ever pummelo.  Earlier this month, I documented, on this blog, how I went about eating the first one (which was a process, but completely delicious), and I got great feedback from some of you about how you love pummelos, and I also got a suggestion I wanted to try, from Reinaldo.

Reinaldo is a fitness blogger in Chile, who has lost a bunch of weight and writes about his process.  While Spanish is his native language, he blogs in English, which he taught himself – very impressive!  Check out his blog here.  He suggested eating a pummelo this way:

Easier way to eat them tip: just slice it! Like you would slice a tomato into little “wheels”. Then dig in into the fruit’s meat with your mouth, and discard the outer ring. Messier (because of the juice), but a lot more faster and fun.

I bought another pummelo last week and decided to give it a go.  Here’s the pummelo after I started cutting it into wheels:

But that picture doesn’t really give you any sense of scale, so here’s one wheel, with my hand in the picture, too:

That’s a big pummelo!  The first couple pieces I ate like Reinaldo suggested – digging into the flesh with my teeth, standing over my sink, letting the juices dribble down my chin.  So tasty!  But I wanted to enjoy the rest while watching TV (because I watch a lot of TV), so I took a few more slices, cut around the inside of the outer peel to separate the peel from the flesh, and cut out the little core, too:  I put them on a plate (don’t they look pretty?), and you can see the peels in the background:

In total, I’d say I spent 5 minutes chopping apart this pummelo, compared to, I don’t know, 15 minutes the first time around?  I love a good time saver, so thank you Reinaldo!  I’ll be enjoying many more pummelos this way, I’m certain of it!

Keep it up, David!


Pummelo

February 8, 2011

Last week, I purchased a pummelo at Whole Foods.  It was the first time I’ve ever bought a pummelo, after learning about it a few days prior on Twitter from Julia, another weight loss blogger (read her blog here).

Yesterday, I ate the pummelo, and documented the process with my camera.  ‘Process’ is a good word, actually, because it ain’t easy to eat a pummelo, but it’s worth it!

Here’s the pummelo, just a-sittin’ on my counter:

It was big.  Bigger than a grapefruit, bigger than a softball, not as big as a basketball, but definitely the biggest non-melon piece of fruit I’ve ever held in my hands.  I’ve seen mini-watermelons and cantaloupe that are smaller.  I didn’t weigh the pummelo, but I’ve read that they routinely get anywhere between 2 and 4 pounds, and can get as big as 20 pounds!  They’re the largest citrus fruit in the world, and some people (fruit scholars, I suppose?) think they’re the forebear of grapefruits.  Here’s some other pummelo fun facts:

  • Pummelo, pommelo, and pomelo are all accepted spellings for the fruit, and it has many other names as well, including Chinese grapefruit, shaddock (after the guy that introduced the fruit to the West Indies from Asia), and jabong.
  • The pummelo is native to southeast Asia, and the Chinese believe that pummelo is a sign of prosperity and good fortune.
  • In the Philippines, pummelo segments are often dipped in salt before being eaten.  Sounds good to me!
  • There are two restaurants in San Francisco called Pomelo, and their menu looks amazing.  Has anyone been?

I was planning on just peeling and eating the pummelo, until I saw this YouTube video (that Julia shared on Twitter).  I basically followed what the guy in the video did – I’ll walk you through it.

First, I sliced off the very top of the pummelo, then scored the skin into a big giant X, so you can pull the skin away from the flesh on the inside:

The skin is very soft and spongy and thick, almost like a marshmallow.  Here’s the flesh of the pummelo fully separated from the skin:

Then I started breaking the pummelo down into segments.  You have to separate and peel ever- membrane from in-between every segment, which takes a while.  This particular pummelo had pretty narrow segments, so it took me a few tries before I was able to peel a segment and get one on a plate all in one piece (more or less):

Ta-da!

The pummelo was delicious.  It was milder than a grapefruit, but still sour, although not bitter.  It was juicy, and it just kinda fell apart in my mouth (although maybe that was because the segments were so narrow).  Various online nutrition guides say that about 1/4 of a pummelo equals a serving size (with 60-72 calories and almost double your Vitamin C needs for the day), but I ate the whole thing.  I stopped taking pictures because my fingers got so sticky and wet with pummelo juice, but after I was done, I took one final picture of the damage – because pummelos leave behind a lot that goes in the trash or compost bin:

I’m definitely buying more pummelos.  You should give one a try, too!

Keep it up, David!


Full Cart at Whole Foods

February 1, 2011

Yesterday, I made a shopping list of groceries that I wanted and needed, and last night I took all my reusable grocery bags and headed off to Whole Foods.  You may recall I went to Whole Foods briefly last week, but that was more of a quick stop to pick up a few things than a full-on grocery shopping extravaganza.  I decided to go to the Whole Foods in Tarzana – I had heard that it was wonderful and huge, and I like huge, especially since the Whole Foods closest to me is kinda tiny.  I never really hang out in Tarzana, but it’s a straight shot on the freeway, and only took me about 20 minutes to get there.

Here’s the Whole Foods there – it’s the newest Whole Foods in the Valley, having opened last May:

And the word on the street was correct – it is gigantic.  Probably three times the size of the one nearest me.  Here’s the produce section:

They have a bulk food section that I’m excited to shop in (although I didn’t do any shopping there last night):

I’ve never seen so many varieties of rice in my life!  I couldn’t even fit them all into one shot:

They also have a huge prepared foods section, with a wine and tapas bar in the center:

Now, on to my purchases.  According to my receipt, I bought 63 items, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve bought so much food at one time.

I spent $32.64 in the produce department.  Here’s my haul:

It’s all the usual suspects: carrots, celery, pears, tomatoes, and other things that I’m sure you recognize.  The large tub in the back right is spinach.  There’s a mini-watermelon back left.  My mind was racing as I walked the produce section – so many new things to try!  I do love trying new things (read prior posts about trying buddha’s hand, seckel pears, and passion fruit, just to name a few), but today I limited myself to two new things:

On the right is a delicata squash.  I read about these in the December issue of Eating Well magazine, and they intrigued me because the skin is super thin, so you don’t need to peel them, and squashes are pains in the ass to peel.  I had never seen a delicata squash at the store before, though, so when I saw them last night, I immediately threw one in my cart.  I don’t know what I’ll do with it, but perhaps one of the Eating Well recipes, which you can read here.

In the middle is a pummelo.  I had never heard of pummelos until last week, when Julia, another blogger documenting her weight-loss journey, tweeted about them (you should definitely check out Julia’s blog, here.  She’s lost 148 pounds and well over 100 inches off her body – completely amazing).  A pummelo is the largest citrus fruit in the world, and according to what I read online, is a milder, sweeter version of a grapefruit.

On the left is an apple – it’s just there as a size comparison.

In the dairy section, I picked up yogurt, cottage cheese, and a carton of egg whites:

And a variety of other proteins and veggies in the refrigerated cases, frozen food aisle, and at the service counter:

What’s wrapped in the butcher paper is a surprise, for now, but I’ll definitely blog about the contents!

And here’s everything else:

There’s pantry items (beets, cannellini beans, jam, olive oil), snacks (raisins, rice and corn cakes), condiments (ketchup, mustard, 2 bottles of light salad dressings), sparkling water, and a bag of whole wheat pitas.

The total damage was $129.12.  I swiped one of the gift cards I was given on TV (I was given a stack of cards in smaller amounts, as opposed to one card for the entire amount), and the cashier waited for the receipt to print up.  As she pulled it from the machine, she said, “Thank you very much, you still have a balance on the card of… whoa!”  She stopped mid-sentence as she look at the figure, which was in the $300 range.  “That’s some gift!” she exclaimed, as she handed me the receipt.  “You have no idea,” I said, then thanked her and headed to the car.

Here’s my favorite part of the Tarzana Whole Foods:  The parking garage is underground, beneath the store, and they have one of those escalators for shopping carts!  Call me a nerd, but I think these things are soooo cool.  Here’s my cart coming down the escalator:

Keep it up, David!


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