Grapefruit Gone to Ground

On my last day in Chile for this chef’s conference, I ran into some farm waste. A group of 50 of us were touring an avocado, grape and citrus farm called Desarrollo Agrario thanks to Hass Avocado (warning: awesome jingle at this site. Also, palta, not aguacate, is South American Spanish for avocado).

On the way in, we noticed a bunch of citrus on the ground under their trees. As you can see in the photo below, they were grapefruit. Nice, pink ones. When one of the growers, Arturo, was showing us around, someone in our group asked him about the grapefruit (I didn’t even have to ask–one of the perks of traveling with a bunch of chefs).

A pained look came across Arturo’s face. He explained how this year’s orange crop was abundant, and since Chileans largely prefer them to grapefruit, there was little market for grapefruit. Calling it a lost season, he said next season they’d be ready to sell them abroad.

In the meantime, there were all these beauties on the trees and on the ground. In hindsight, I should have asked to try my first tree-plucked grapefruit. Either that, or figured out how to say ‘tree gleaning’ in Spanish.

photo by chris gallega

Thanks to Chris Gallega for sending this photo. You can see a few more from our day trip on Chris’ blog Thought for Food.

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  1. Posted February 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I always say “recollectar frutas” when I’m explaining it in Spanish, but, strictly speaking, that just means “pick fruit,” not necessarily “glean.”

    Sounds like a great trip!

  2. Posted February 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Diana, thanks for that tip. In what circumstances are you using that phrase? (I’m interested more about the circumstances than the vocab).

  3. Posted February 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink


    The photo isn’t loading.


  4. Posted February 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Katy. Let me figure out what’s happening…

    OK, should be all better. Thanks again for the head’s up!

  5. Nancy from Mass
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I could live under that tree and eat grapefruit all day.

  6. Posted February 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    That makes me sad. I would’ve eaten some, turned others into marmalade and still more into curd. Could’ve spent weeks happily canning it all.

  7. Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    If you can get a flight to Chile…

  8. Posted February 14, 2010 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    “Palta” must be Chilean. In Colombia it’s still aguacate.

  9. Posted February 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    You’re probably right. Could be a native word…I read that many Chilean words come from the Mapuche people.

    Less importantly, does anyone else love that Hass jingle as much as I do??

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