February is the height of the season for grapefruit. Not just any grapefruit. Texas Rio Star grapefruit.
Rio Star was the one food I craved when I was pregnant with my son. Bought and consumed bags of it.
My child was born with a taste for it. Our dear pediatrician said she’d never before seen a baby who preferred grapefruit of all things.
Round, sweet, softballs of juicy flesh. Fresh, pungent perfection sectioned with a snow showering of cane sugar.
Sunlit yellow skin and blushing spots on the outside. And inside, that sparkling, succulent, glistening, glorious pink. Like the pink of a Tropicana tea rose. Or a cluster of coral-tinged rubies.
Naturalist and author Reverend Griffith Hughes is attributed with first documenting grapefruit in 1750. Dubbed it “The Forbidden Fruit” of Barbados.
Dr. Richard Hensz of Texas A&M labored for years to produce the reddest grapefruit possible. Texas Star Ruby was released in 1970, the year I was born. Then in 1984, Texas Rio Red was released, trademarked Rio Star.
This forbidden fruit. This Rio Star. The French call it pamplemousse.
The word must roll off their tender lips like the names of royalty. Geneviève. Marguerite. Antoinette. Pamplemousse.
Behold the pamplemousse. Crowned winter gem.
Partake before its glittering reign ends for the year, gently ushered out by the promise of strawberries, peaches, blackberries, plums.
Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
“My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.” Proverbs 8:1 & 19 NIV
Disclaimer: I’m not being compensated to promote Rio Star. I write simply for the love of the grapefruit.