It is a type of tangelo, that is, a type hybrid between grape fruit and mandarin orange. It is a tasty fruit but is rather unattractive in appearance. Hence it is known as “Ugli Fruit”. The term “Ugli” refers to the English word “ugly” which means non-tempting.
The fruit is pronounced as “hUgli” in Jamaica.
Ugli Fruit History
It is said to originate in 1914 close to Brown’s Town in Jamaica. It was discovered at this time as an accidental seedling. In the early months of 1914, this fruit was circulated and exported widely. The parentage of this Tangelo combines the most positive qualities of Grapefruit, Tangerine and Seville orange.
Where is Ugli Fruit Found?
This fruit is native to the island of Jamaica that is situated in the Caribbean Sea. It is said to have been cultivated at Trout Hall by F.G. Sharp.
This fruit can be kept at room temperature for several days. It can last for a week or more if kept in a refrigerator. If kept at room temperature, it should be used within 5 days.
Ugli Fruit Taste
This fruit is sweet in taste. Though unattractive in appearance, it is sweeter than grapefruit.
Where is Ugli Fruit Cultivated?
This fruit is grown in New Zealand and Australia. The fruit goes not grow well in Florida though it has been introduced into the country.
This is not cultivated widely and is available in a limited supply. This makes it an expensive fruit. These have a very short season and can be found only from December to April. The fruit is distributed in Europe and the United States between the months November and April. Occasionally, it can be obtained from July to September.
Ugli Fruit Description
This fruit is large in size and has a diameter that varies between 10 cm and 15 cm. The color of this fruit varies between green and greenish yellow. Some fruits of this type are also seen to be orange in color. The flesh of this fruit is often found to have a color between orange and deep orange.
This fruit has large segments that separate easily. It has less number of seeds and is filled with juice. The fruit can be squeezed to extract juice very easily. The juice is quite sweet in taste and does not require sugar for enhancement. It has a fragrant rind and does not have any bitterness unlike grapefruit.
It has a thick, rough skin that is free of blemishes or brown spots.
Ugli Fruit Uses
The peels of these fruits can be easily removed. Ugli Fruit can be eaten like a tangerine. It may also be cut in two halves and consumed like a grapefruit. The juice and pegs can be utilized to create many delicious dishes. The fruit may be eaten raw like a snack.
The peels of this fruit can be taken off very easily. The easiest way of serving this fruit is to slice them in half. Slicing can loosen the sections and you can eat them with a spoon. This makes a very savory dish. Kirsch or Sherry may be sprinkled on the segments and served as a first course. The fruit can be served as a dessert dish.
A glass of juice extracted from this fruit can be more flavorful and refreshing than that of grapefruit or fresh squeezed orange. The delicious juice can have a warm effect on the body that is similar to alcoholic drinks like rum. The juice may also be sweetened with brown sugar or honey. They may also be used to make soufflés and ice creams. The segments of this fruit may also be used to make salads. It may also be used as a topping for cheesecake. The juice and peel can be used together to create fantastic marmalades.
Ugli Fruit Nutrition Facts
The fruit is rich in Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron and Dietary Fibers. A halved section of this fruit contains about 8 grams of sugar, 1.4 gms of Protein and 11 grams of carbohydrates. The amount of cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat is quite low. The fruit is also a good source of folate. It contains only 45 calories which makes it ideal for consumption by people who are conscious of putting on weight.
Ugli Fruit Health Benefits
This fruit is rich in Vitamin C which strengthens the immune system. It fights cardio vascular disorders and promotes healthy gums. The fruit also contains Vitamin B in rich doses which promote oral health. It also prevents stone formation in kidneys.
Ugli Fruit Order
It belongs to the order Sapindales and the family Rutaceae. It is a citrus fruit and is a member of the species Citrus reticulata × Citrus paradisi.
Ugli Fruit Tree
It grows as a bushy tree that is about 15 to 20 feet in length. The growth habit of this Tangelo is similar to any Citrus fruit. The tree always appears evergreen with shiny leaves and bright appearance. The fruits ripen for about 6 to 12 weeks in clusters and continue to hang on branches for a few more weeks. The fruit produces seeds from which new trees grow.
How to Purchase Ugli Fruit?
While purchasing this fruit, you should consider how heavy it is in size and ignore scars and color of its skin. These are frequently found to be quite large in size. However, the smaller fruits tend to be sweeter and more flavorful. Check whether there are soft, brown spots on the fruit skin. Softly press the spots using your thumb. If the thumb goes through these spots, the fruit is most probably spoiled. It is best not to buy such a fruit.
Ugli Fruit Pictures
If this fruit is not native to your area, you must be curious about its appearance. Here are some useful pictures of Ugli fruit that will let you know how it looks like. Take a look at these Ugli Fruit photos for reference.
Picture 4 – Ugli Fruit Photo
Source - thekitchn.com