What are the differences between grapefruit and oranges?

What are the differences between grapefruit and oranges?

Oranges and grapefruits are both tasty and popular fruits that we often display on our countertops at home, as well as at business meetings and restaurants. We enjoy them alone or mixed with other fruits and vegetables, and we can use them in a variety of recipes. They are not only attractive and aromatic, but they are also extremely healthy. Even though both fruits are round, thick-peeled citrus fruits with similar physical characteristics — especially from the outside — they can often be confused for each other at the grocery store. There have been times when we have picked out what we thought was an orange, only to discover it was its tangy cousin, grapefruit. However, once you open them up and taste them, the differences become evident, and you can tell them apart quickly. We know a lot about each of them, so what are the differences?

There are two different fruits with two different histories!

 A vast majority of oranges are grown in Brazil, which is not surprising since oranges are the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Although there are several varieties of oranges, sweet oranges are the most popular and are often found in grocery stores. Sweet oranges are hybrids of pomelo and mandarin oranges. The plant was first recorded in Europe in the 15th century. Spanish settlers brought it to the Americas shortly afterwards. In today’s world, there are many varieties of this sweet fruit, and we can harvest them at various times of the year. The Welsch reverend who wrote the history of Barbados discovered grapefruit in the 18th century, making it one of the more recent citrus fruits. It is a hybrid fruit like oranges but crossed with a Jamaican sweet orange and a pomelo. We are all familiar with white grapefruit, pink grapefruit, and ruby red grapefruit, which is a more recent variety. Grapefruits come in a variety of tastes and appearances. Several theories exist as to why grapefruits got their name, but the most accepted one is that they grow in clusters like grapes. 

There is a difference in appearance and taste. 

There is a noticeable size difference between grapefruits and oranges, with grapefruits being significantly larger than oranges. When it comes to appearance, oranges are quite orange. A fun fact about oranges is that they were named after the fruit, not vice versa, and it was called yellow-red until they became widely available in Europe. There is a wide range of color variations among grapefruit varieties – white, yellow, pink and red. Beyond the superficial qualities, there are significant differences between them in terms of taste and flavor. In contrast, grapefruits have a distinctive acidic taste that some might even call sour, making it more of an acquired taste. Oranges are typically sweet, but with a mild tartness that is light and refreshing. Grapefruits are more tart the lighter their color. Ruby red grapefruits are sweeter than white grapefruits, as you will find when comparing the two. Nutritionally, oranges are rich in calories and sugar, but they are also higher in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber than grapefruits. In addition to being enriched with vitamins, grapefruits offer the greatest amount of vitamin A, phosphorus, and lipids. This means they can both help prevent diseases like diabetes and cancer, but grapefruits need to be used with caution, as certain prescription drugs can interact with grapefruits. 

Which one can be used and substituted for the other? 

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are not just enjoyed in raw form but are widely used in cooking and beverages as well. Slicing up either of them will give your salad a kick of zest, or you can mash them into a marinade to give it a zing. We see oranges being paired with a variety of liquor in mimosas and screwdrivers, whereas grapefruits are paired well with gin and tequila in Palomas. 

For a burst of tangy citrus flavor, either is a tasty option in cooking. Due to their sweet-yet-tart taste, oranges can be used in a variety of ways, making them a versatile cooking ingredient. As they are similar in appearance and texture, oranges and grapefruits can often be substituted in vegetable and fruit salad recipes. Even though the orange is less tart than the grapefruit. If a recipe calls for orange zest, sweeter grapefruit zest can easily be substituted, as the difference is barely noticeable. Often, cakes and desserts are topped with orange or grapefruit peels because they can be eaten even in their peels.

The Healthy Outdoors