All right, I’m stumped. And considering that I am on a lifelong mission from God to eat (and most likely make marmalade out of) every kind of citrus on this planet, it takes a lot to stump me.
I found this one last night at my local grocery, which is run by Middle Easterners who don’t speak a lot of English, and their Hispanic immigrant employees who speak almost none. Two of them indicated that they either couldn’t identify the citrus, or didn’t know its name in English. The girl at the cash register said she’d been hoping I’d know what they were called.
Naturally, I bought six of them.
They’re about the size of a smallish Valencia orange, and are a faintly greenish grapefruit-yellow color, like grapefruits whose forebears have never even heard the word “ruby”. Their skin is tender, and so thin you can see the segmentation through it. It’s as thin as I’ve ever seen on a citrus, like the thinnest limes only not as hard. There’s no pith at all. They’re not very hard to peel.
The peel smells funny, a sort of sharp citron/camphor smell that’s somewhat reminiscent of the peels of meyer lemons, pummelos, citrons, and the one lavender gem I’ve ever met.
Inside, they’re a pale grapefruity yellow. The segments are large — I count nine or ten — and regular. The seeds are are fat, round, sturdy, and scarce. The fruit itself has the lowest acid content of any citrus I’ve ever eaten. It’s mildly sweet. The flavor is truly strange. At first sniff it’s got some of those same camphorish overtones, but then when you eat it, it tastes more like cantaloupe. (Yes, really. Would I lie about citrus?)
So. Anybody have any idea what these are?