U is for …

Ugli Fruit

Fun Facts

  • Ugli fruits are part of the citrus family.
  • An ugli fruit as a hybrid variety, made up of a cross between a grapefruit, and orange and a tangerine.
  • It tastes a bit like a lemon mixed with a tangerine.
  • It is called an ugli fruit as it looks well … ugly! This skin is loose fitting and greenish-yellow in colour.
  • An ugli fruit has very few seeds inside of it.
  • Inside the skin are pinkish-yellow or orangey-yellow segments of fruit, just like in a grapefruit. However, unlike the tarte taste of a grapefruit, the ugli fruit is sweet.

Where do we come from?

The ugli fruit was only discovered about 80 years ago, growing in Jamaica, and is also known as the Jamaican tangelo. Today, most ugli fruits still come from Jamaica, however they are sold in some supermarkets across America, some European countries and some parts of Scandinavia.

Test yourself! Can you locate these countries on the map?

We are good for you!

Like all fruits and vegetables the ugli fruit is low in sodium, calories and fats and it is also high in dietary fibre. However, the ugli fruit is especially good for you because …

  • It contains lots of vitamin C which is good for your skin, bones and blood.
  • It contains lots of B vitamins.

How to eat me

Even though we are not the ugli fruit is not the prettiest fruit to look at, it sure does taste delicious. They can sometimes be tricky to get hold of, as they are only in season between December and April, but if you see them in the supermarket, you should definitely give them a try! Here are a few tips on how to know when they are ripe, and how to eat them:

  • Choose a fruit that is heavy for its size, as you cannot tell how ripe the fruit is by looking at its colour (the fruit should give a little when you push it with your thumb, but it should not be mushy).
  • Wash the fruit under cool water before you eat it.
  • Cut the fruit in half (like you would with a grapefruit) – if you are using a sharp knife, you will want an adult to help you with this.
  • Loosen the segments and eat it straight out of the peel with a spoon.
  • OR you could peel it (like you would with a tangerine) and eat the segments one by one.

You can eat ugli fruit on its own as a snack, or you can add it to other dishes like salads. It is also a good to use in fresh juices or jams.

Challenge …

… Like we said before the ugli fruit is part of the citrus family, just like oranges, tangerines and grapefruits. There are many similarities and differences between all of these fruits – can you spot them all?