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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