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Grapefruit vs. Pomelo: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 2, 2023
Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a sweet-tart flavor, while pomelo is the largest citrus fruit with a sweeter, milder taste and thicker rind.

Key Differences

Grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet, somewhat bitter fruit. Pomelo, however, is a natural citrus fruit, with the appearance of a large, pale green to yellow, and sometimes pinkish fruit.
Grapefruit is smaller and typically ranges from four to six inches in diameter. In contrast, pomelo is notably larger, with a diameter of six to twelve inches or even larger, making it the largest citrus fruit.
The flesh inside a grapefruit can be pink, red, or white, and it's often quite tart. Meanwhile, the flesh inside a pomelo can also vary in color but is generally milder and sweeter than grapefruit.
Grapefruit skin is relatively thin and slightly bumpy, ranging in color from yellow to pinkish. Conversely, pomelo skin is notably thick and either green or yellow, and somewhat soft and easy to peel.
Grapefruit is a hybrid originating from sweet orange and pomelo, suggesting a direct relationship between the two. Pomelo is one of the original citrus species, indicating that it has a more direct lineage.

Comparison Chart


Named for the way they grow in clusters
Name derives from Dutch "pompelmoes"

Use in Singular

A grapefruit
A pomelo

Use in Plural

Two grapefruits
Two pomelos

Article Usage

A grapefruit
A pomelo

Typical Adjectives

Tart, juicy
Sweet, mild

Grapefruit and Pomelo Definitions


Grapefruit is also recognized for its interaction with certain medications, impacting metabolism.
She avoids grapefruit since it interferes with her medicine.


A pomelo is a large, sweet citrus fruit with a thick rind.
He peeled the pomelo, revealing its sweet, juicy interior.


A grapefruit is a large, round citrus fruit with a slightly sour flavor.
I enjoy a fresh grapefruit for breakfast.


Pomelo is sometimes utilized as a descriptor for large, bulbous items due to its shape.
The lamp was pomelo-shaped, large, and eye-catching.


Grapefruit can also refer to the tree which bears this fruit.
The grapefruit tree in our yard is blooming.


In culinary contexts, pomelo signifies a mild, non-acidic citrus note.
The sauce had a subtle pomelo undertone.


In slang, "grapefruit" can refer to something frustrating or futile (somewhat rare).
This puzzle is a real grapefruit!


The word pomelo can also refer to the tree that produces this fruit.
The pomelo tree is native to South and Southeast Asia.


It's used metaphorically to describe something semi-sweet but potentially bitter or harsh.
The feedback was a grapefruit - sweet yet harsh.


Pomelo is considered to be one of the original citrus species from which others have been hybridized.
Grapefruits are believed to be a hybrid derived from the pomelo.


A tropical or semitropical evergreen tree (Citrus paradisi) cultivated for its edible fruit.


A tropical Southeast Asian tree (Citrus maxima) closely related to the grapefruit and having very large round fruit with a thick rind and coarse-grained pulp.


The large, round fruit of this tree, having a yellow rind and juicy, somewhat acid pulp.


The edible yellow fruit of this tree. In both senses also called shaddock.


The tree of the species Citrus paradisi, a hybrid of pomelo (Citrus maxima) and sweet orange.


The large fruit of the Citrus maxima (syn. Citrus grandis), native to South Asia and Southeast Asia, with a thick green or yellow rind, a thick white pith, and semi-sweet translucent pale flesh.


The large spherical tart fruit produced by this tree.


The tree which produces this fruit.


A citrus tree (Citrus paradisi) bearing large round edible fruit having a thick yellow rind and juicy somewhat acid pulp.


The grapefruit.


The large yellow fruit of the Citrus paradisi, having somewhat acid juicy pulp. It is a popular breakfast food.


A variety of shaddock, called also grape fruit.


Citrus tree bearing large round edible fruit having a thick yellow rind and juicy somewhat acid pulp


Southeastern Asian tree producing large fruits resembling grapefruits


Large yellow fruit with somewhat acid juicy pulp; usual serving consists of a half


Large pear-shaped fruit similar to grapefruit but with coarse dry pulp


What is a grapefruit?

A grapefruit is a subtropical citrus fruit known for its somewhat sour and slightly sweet taste.

Where did grapefruit originate?

The grapefruit originated in Barbados as a natural cross between the orange and the pomelo.

What color is grapefruit?

Grapefruits come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and red, which refer to the fruit's flesh inside.

Are grapefruit seeds edible?

While grapefruit seeds are edible, they are often bitter and are typically discarded.

Can I grow a grapefruit tree at home?

Yes, grapefruit trees can be grown at home, given the right climate and care.

When is pomelo season?

Pomelo season typically runs from winter into early spring.

Are grapefruits healthy?

Yes, grapefruits are low in calories, rich in nutrients, and a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C.

Can grapefruit interact with medications?

Yes, grapefruit can interact with certain medications, altering their efficacy.

Can you cook with pomelo?

Yes, pomelo can be used in various culinary applications, such as salads, desserts, and beverages.

How can grapefruit be eaten?

Grapefruit can be eaten raw, juiced, or used as an ingredient in various dishes and drinks.

How should grapefruits be stored?

Grapefruits can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated to extend freshness.

What does a pomelo taste like?

Pomelos have a sweet and mildly tangy flavor, less bitter and acidic than grapefruits.

How do you store pomelos?

Pomelos can be stored at room temperature for a short period or refrigerated for longer shelf life.

How is pomelo different from grapefruit?

Pomelos are typically larger and sweeter than grapefruits and have a thicker, softer rind.

How do you eat a pomelo?

To eat a pomelo, you typically cut off the top, score the rind, peel it away, and then separate and consume the juicy segments inside.

Is pomelo healthy?

Yes, pomelos are rich in vitamin C and fiber, providing numerous health benefits.

What are popular varieties of grapefruit?

Some popular varieties include Ruby Red, Pink, and White grapefruits.

Where can I buy pomelos?

Pomelos can typically be found in supermarkets, especially Asian grocery stores, during their growing season.

Are pomelo peels usable?

Pomelo peels are often discarded but can be used to make preserves, candies, or as flavoring agents.

What is a pomelo?

A pomelo is a large, pale green to yellow citrus fruit, native to Southeast Asia, with sweet and mildly tangy flesh.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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