This State Produces Most Of The Grapefruit In The US

Sweet, tangy, and tart, the juicy grapefruit is a versatile citrus fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Enjoy grapefruit on its own or topped with yogurt as a healthy breakfast choice. Grapefruit also makes a great addition to salads and desserts, and pairs well with proteins from pork to seafood. Grapefruit juice is also a key ingredient in several refreshing cocktails, including the classic greyhound and paloma.

Grapefruit is also incredibly healthy — according to Healthline, grapefruit is one of the healthiest citrus fruits around. It's low in calories yet high in fiber and vitamins like A and C, minerals like potassium, folate, magnesium, and powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene. Grapefruit may help improve immune function, heart health, digestion, and skin quality, and may help prevent insulin resistance and reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of kidney stones.

Although most people are probably familiar with Ruby Red grapefruits, there are actually many other different varieties, with unique flavor profiles that shine in different situations. Take the Oro Blanco: seedless, super juicy, and not too bitter, it pairs with seafood beautifully. Even sweeter is Florida's Duncan grapefruit, a pale yellow heirloom variety of grapefruit that's said to be the "mother of all American specimens."

The US state where grapefruit was first introduced is also the country's biggest producer

Grapefruit was first introduced to Florida in the 1800s by Count Odet Phillipe, who planted the very first grove near Tampa Bay, according to the Florida Department of Citrus. While grapefruit is grown all over Florida today, the vast majority of it is grown in the Indian River region that stretches from Daytona to West Palm Beach, on the opposite coast from where it was first planted. Florida's subtropical climate and sandy soil proved to be ideal for growing grapefruits.

Today, Florida is the top grapefruit-growing state in the United States, reports the University of Florida. In 2019, Florida produced 4.9 million boxes of grapefruit, which accounted for 38.5% of the total grapefruit production in the US and 40% of the total value at $65 million. Other states that also grow grapefruit include California, Texas, and Arizona. The top varieties of grapefruit grown in Florida include the Ruby Red, Flame, Thompson, Marsh, and Duncan, per Visit Florida. Florida's grapefruit season runs from November to May, with peak season (and peak sweetness!) from January to May, perfect when you might need a little bit of extra sweetness and sunshine during the cold winter months.