Wednesday, March 02, 2005

My first minneola


I am not a fruit connoisseur by any means. I avoided fruits for most of my life, and it wasn't until my recent healthy eating kick that I started eating fruits. This might explain my unusual excitement for fruits these days - I'm making up for lost time. This weekend, I was cruising around the Rockridge district in Oakland, and came upon the Yasai Market on College Ave. I have no idea why they have a Japanese name (yasai means vegetable in Japanese), since it didn't look like a Japanese grocery store. But, yasai, they did have! The vegetables were very enticing too, but what caught my eye was the bright, bright orange of these citruses labeled, "Seedless Minneola".


I'd never heard of a minneola, and I surely had never noticed it before in grocery stores. It has a very interesting appearance with a gourd-like protruding apex. Being a novice to the fruit empire, I figured I'd give it a try.


My lack of photography skills really impedes me from communicating how juicy this fruit really was. I couldn't quite think of the right set-up to get the juiciness across, since I didn't want to waste the fruit or the juices, just for demonstration purposes. My true enjoyment for food comes from eating instead of photographing every detail, after all. The juices were encapsulated quite well in somewhat tough sacks, although once bitten, the sweet nectar took over any fibrous feel of the sack.

Thank Google, I was able to find some information on the luscious fruit, which puts some of its characteristics into perspective. Turns out the minneola is actually a successful union of two popular citruses, the grapefruit and the tangerine. In retrospect, the tough sack feel is definitely very grapefruit-ish and the sweet overflowing juices are definitely tangerine-ish.

As a geneticist (that's my day job - well, actually, I'm really more of a cancer biologist or a molecular biologist, but geneticist works too), I appreciate the complexities of hereditary traits. And sure enough, the minneola really maintained both the grapefruit mama's and the tangerine papa's qualities to mesh them into a unique creation. If you see these guys at your local markets, they are worth a try!

1 comment:

Bryan Harrell said...

It is also interesting that these citrus fruits are also popular in Japan just recently. They are called "deko-pon" which I'm not sure of the exact meaning, but I believe it refers to the fact that the stem sticks out and looks like an "outie" belly button.