What’s the deal with grapefruit? Actually, what’s with the name? Why is it clarifying itself as a fruit? Isn’t the word grape enough? Maybe not. After all, the breakfast cereal, Grapenuts, contain neither grapes nor nuts. Even more confusing will be grapegravy whenever someone gets around to creating it. Still, I don’t see other fruits needing to clarify. You don’t see orangefruitatious and reallyuglifruitseriously. But that isn’t the main problem with grapefruit. What’s misleading is the first word. It’s not a grape.
When it comes to taste, grapes and grapefruit have nothing in common. Grapes are sweet, luscious and can be squeezed into juice and overly priced wine. Grapefruit is the item you pass over when you are looking for tangelos.
Imagine if you were an alien from outer space or Finland visiting Florida and you tasted a grapefruit for the very first time.
ALIEN: (UNPRONOUCEABLE SWEAR WORD)
ME: What’s wrong?
ALIEN: This food you gave me is not pleasant.
ME: I agree.
ALIEN: What is it?
ALIEN: Didn’t I already try a grape that you categorized as a fruit?
ME: You did.
ALIEN: But this is not a grape.
ME: No it is not.
ALIEN: Then why call it a grape and then clarify it as a fruit? It is not redundant as well as misleading?
ME: This is why you are visiting me and not the other way around.
I don’t know anybody who purposely buys grapefruit. The only person I can even remember eating it is my grandma, Dora. Whenever I had breakfast at her home, she would always dig into half a grapefruit. She used a special utensil. It was a hybrid between a knife and a spoon. Its edges were serrated and could easily remove the juicy pockets from the fibrous membrane. It looked alike a surgical tool and it fascinated me that its sole purpose was to be used on a fruit I would never eat. But grandma loved it or she gave the appearance she did. What was the reason? There may have been two:
(A) She really liked to eat grapefruit.
This I never believed. I’ve tried grapefruit. It’s like an obnoxious dinner guest who refuses to leave your mouth. Therefore Grandma Dora ate grapefruit because:
(B) No one else would.
Grandmothers are an infinite well of sacrifice, serving themselves after everybody else is stuffed, happily eating steak with gristle, soup with no chicken, pancakes that are burnt and fruit salad with only one remaining fruit.
Maybe grapefruit can’t be that bad if it reminds me of my grandma in her nightgown with rollers in her hair, carefully digging into a citrus the size of an inflated softball, while I sit next to her munching on my Cheerios, thinking, “How can she eat that?”