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Ugli Duckling: A Quick Guide To Ugli Fruit - Colorful Plates
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Ugli Duckling: A Quick Guide To Ugli Fruit

Just like the ugly duckling of storybook fame, Ugli fruit can grow into a truly amazing fruit if given the proper time and attention. Once you move past its wrinkly, blotchy green skin, you’ll be met with a fruit that balances sweet and tangy notes like no other. To get the most out of this Ugli duckling, follow along with this guide!

  • Unlike other tangelos, Ugli fruit is only grown in Jamaica. The fruit itself is a naturally occurring hybrid of tangerines, grapefruits, and Seville oranges. Flavor-wise, Ugli fruit takes aspects from each of its ancestors to create a powerfully flavorful product: expect a juicy sweetness combined with a floral tartness. Add a gentle bitterness on the end and you’ve hit culinary gold.
    • Pro Tip: Learn more about other tangelo varieties here!
  • It can be very difficult to select a ripe Ugli fruit off of appearance alone. Uneven coloring, deep pores, surface scarring, and loose skin don’t necessarily mean a bad fruit, so you’ll need to look for a fruit that feels heavy for its size and gives to slight pressure. However, if your fruit has mushy spots that you can press your finger through, toss it; that’s a surefire sign of spoilage. 
  • Once your Ugli fruit makes it back into your kitchen, you can store it like any other citrus. If left at room temperature, it should last about 4-5 days, but you can easily double that shelf-life by keeping it in your refrigerator.
  • Preparing your Ugli fruit is wonderfully easy! Before adding it to any dishes, either cut in in half and scoop out the segments or remove the peel and pull out the segments.
  • Similar to its popular parents, Ugli fruit is super versatile in the kitchen. Generally, you can swap it into grapefruit or orange dishes for a unique, complex spin. If you’re looking for a place to start, try adding Ugli fruit to a fall salad, blending it into a smoothie, or substituting Ugli fruit juice into your next mimosa!