When most people think Caribbean fruits, mangoes most naturally come to mind. Bananas likely do too. If you’re from the region or well-traveled enough your thoughts might even stray toward genips, carambola, sapodilla and the like.
But, what about grapefruit?
Yes, that most singularly sunny breakfast treat so closely associated with Florida actually originated in Barbados! In particular, according to our friends at Barbados.org, the lush Welchman Hall Gully area set just about dead center of the island.
It was here back in the 1700’s that two foreign fruit species – sweet orange and pomelo, both introduced to the island from Asia – somehow got together and spawned the grapefruit as we know it today. Exactly how this happened, though, is a mystery.
Some say the union occurred naturally in the wilds of Barbados, a “Garden of Eden” type origin story that earned the grapefruit its original moniker, the forbidden fruit.
Others say a Captain Shaddock brought pomelo seeds from Jamaica and purposely set the cross pollination in motion.
Either way, you gotta’ love the result, especially, as Barbados.org further notes, if you have a splash or two of Angostura Bitters handy to sprinkle on your fruit.
A fabulous fruit treat that’s more West Indian than you might think!
*Lead photo credit: Flickr user liz west.