The Jaffa™ Sweetie is a unique, grapefruit-like citrus fruit grown exclusively in Israel that has become a sensation in Asia. Also referred to as an Israel sweetie, pomelit, or sweetie grapefruit, it is similar to the American oroblanco variety often grown in California, though it has its own distinct flavour profile that is complex yet approachable. With their unique flavour and vibrant colour, Jaffa™ Sweeties are delicious on their own or in any holiday recipe where a bracing but sweet citrus component is called for.
The Jaffa™ Sweetie was first developed by Israeli growers in 1984. Like the oroblanco variety, the Jaffa™ Sweetie is the result of a natural cross between a sweet, less-acidic pomelo and a seedy grapefruit, bringing together the best of both cultivars. This variety is still primarily grown in Israel and marketed under the Jaffa™ label.
Taste & Texture
The fruit’s shape, texture, and juiciness closely resemble a grapefruit, but its taste varies from sweet to mild, and more reminiscent of a pomelo than your standard grapefruit. Like the pomelo, it does not have excessive acidity, and can be enjoyed even by people with a sensitivity to grapefruit’s tartness. Its flesh is yellow in color with a refreshing citrusy scent. There are often a few large seeds that are easy to remove. They have a dense pith and distinctive green-tinted rind even when fully mature (although it can turn yellow if left on the tree long enough!). It can be eaten and enjoyed anywhere along this spectrum from green to yellow-colored.
Jaffa™ Sweeties are available from Israel from mid-fall through late winter or early spring, depending on the season.
The Sweetie is low in calories with only 24 to 40 calories per fruit. The sweetness is not because of excess sugar, but a lack of acid, so it is also a relatively low-sugar fruit. Studies have shown that the fruit can lower blood cholesterol and increase antioxidant activity.