Grapefruit Great For More Than Breakfast

Grapefruit is frequently taken for granted.

But this is National Grapefruit Month, and it's in peak season.

So, The Early Show's resident chef, Bobby Flay showed Thursday that grapefruit is plenty versatile -- good for more than just breakfast or as a dieting aid or a garnish.

Flay made it into something special and sinfully good!

Background

Grapefruit was originally considered "the forbidden fruit" in Barbados. The citrus fruit has only been popular since the 19th century. Prior to that, it was grown as an ornamental plant.

Grapefruit comes in many varieties, which can be determined by its color. Its pigmentation comes from its state of ripeness and genetics.

The most popular varieties cultivated today have red, white, and pink hues, referring to their insides.

The flavors range from highly acidic and somewhat bitter to sweet and tart.

Grapefruit mercaptan, a sulfur-containing terpene, is one of the substances that has a strong influence on the taste and odor of grapefruit, compared to other citrus fruits.

Grapefruit consumption has dropped since the 1980s. That's attributed in part to research that suggests grapefruit and its juice can either intensify or eliminate the effect of certain prescription drugs. Another likely factor: Grapefruit isn't considered convenient enough for today's busy families.

Florida is the main source of fresh grapefruit in the United States, accounting for about 80 percent of the market share, but there's considerable production in Texas, California and Arizona. Imports are available from Canada and Mexico. The U.S. is the largest producer of grapefruit.

Selecting Grapefruit

When choosing fresh grapefruit, look for a firm fruit with smooth skin and a well-rounded or slightly flattened shape. Minor skin blemishes, or "regreening," doesn't affect the fruit's quality. Grapefruit should feel heavy for its size -- an indication that it has plenty of juice. Avoid any that are puffy looking or have rough skin.

To see Flay's recipes, go to Page 2.