CUBING | SEGMENTING GRAPEFRUITS AND ORANGES

CUBING | SEGMENTING GRAPEFRUITS AND ORANGES

Years ago, everybody segmented their oranges and grapefruits when serving them in a dish, in other words, when they weren’t peeling it and eating it out of hand.

To segment orange: Peel entire orange, removing all of the white coating under the peel. Using a small sharp knife, run the knife between each membrane on either side of each segment of fruit, moving from tip to tip. Lift out each segment.

This produces a membrane-free orange or grapefruit segment, perfectly formed, thus attractive.

However, it takes quite a lot longer to segment an orange or grapefruit than to cube it. Nine times out of ten or even 10 out of 10 I’m going to cube it for that reason. What I discovered is that I don’t mind some of the membrane or even some of the pith (white part). I eat both when I eat the orange or grapefruit out of hand, so what’s all the fuss about when you use them in recipes, you all of a sudden have to eliminate all membrane and pith? Nonsense.

So this is how I cube my oranges and grapefruits.

To cube grapefruits:  Cut grapefruit in half around the equator (midway between the nub and navel). Put each half face down on a board (or face up, it doesn’t matter as long as you have a sharp knife). Slice each half into 3-4 slices, depending on the size of the grapefruit. Remove peel from each piece by running a sharp knife between the peel and the fruit; lift out fruit and discard peel. Cut each segment into 3/4 inch cubes. Trim away any hard pieces of white membrane, especially in the center of the middle piece.

Follow the same instructions for cubing oranges.

Now, if you really want the segments (and not the cubes), but not the work of removing all the membranes, this is what you do.

Cut the orange or grapefruit in half from navel to nub. Then cut each half in half again, cutting down into the top of the fruit from end to end, into wedges. The number of wedges will be determined on how many you want, how thick you want them and the size of the fruit.

Lay each wedge on its side, then cut about 1/8 – 1/4 inch from tip to tip along the fruit edge to remove the visible membrane.

Next, slide your knife between the fruit and the peel to remove the peel and voila, you have your segments.

Cut the orange or grapefruit in half from navel to nub. Then cut each half in half again, cutting down into the top of the fruit from end to end, into wedges. The number of wedges will be determined on how many you want, how thick you want them and the size of the fruit.

Lay each wedge on its side, then cut about 1/8 – 1/4 inch from tip to tip along the fruit edge to remove the visible membrane.

Next, slide your knife between the fruit and the peel to remove the peel and voila, you have your segments.

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