This is a fruit of many names – Uniq Fruit, Unique Fruit, and Ugli Fruit.
Hideous to look at – It is lumpy, frumpy, and has a poor complexion – but this citrus fruit has a mild, really sweet, really juicy messy greatness to it! Use Unique Fruit as you would most other citrus fruit. It is a superb addition to a salad of mixed dark greens or a tropical fruit salad.
You will be amazed how wonderful tasting this fruit is – I know I was!
Photo courtesy of Wegman’s Fresh Products
This fruit has various, odd shapes and its skin is pot-marked. It is a cross between a mandarin orange and a Pomelo (the original grapefruit).
The Uniq Fruit was discovered as an accidental seedling in Brown’s Town, Jamaica where it was propagated and exported beginning in the 1914. Its parentage combines the best characteristics of the tangerine, grapefruit and Seville orange.
The crop is not large and its limited supply makes it expensive. The only problem is that by the time you learn to enjoy them, they are gone from the markets. They have a very short season and are available from December to April.
It looks like a giant yellow-green mandarin orange. The skin is thickest at the neck, with large pores and quite a knobby appearance. the color of the gnarled skin varies from all green to yellow to tinged with orange, which tells you nothing about fruit quality.
Purchasing: Look for fruit that is heavy for its size and do not be concerned about surface scarring, uneven color, or loose skin. They are often quite large, but the smaller fruit tend to be more flavorful and sweeter. Select fruit that is heavy for its size. Check for soft or brown spots and press those gently with a thumb. If it goes through the spot, it probably means the fruit is spoiled. There should be a slight give at the blossom end (opposite the nose) when pressed with a thumb. It is best if there is a bit of give to the fruit.
Storing: Store at room temperature and use within 5 days or refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
Preparation: It’s puffy, thick skin peels very easily and the fruit has wonderful flavor (may be eaten like a tangerine, or they may be cut in half and eaten like a grapefruit). Tartly sweet and relatively seed free, Uniq Fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber and contains fewer than 40 calories, about the same as grapefruit. The flesh is a pinkish-orange color. Uniq fruit becomes bitter after a period of time so they should not be stored for too long.