[Sca-cooks] Can you identify the food?

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Wed Sep 3 21:32:09 PDT 2008

> <snip>
>> Pomelo is a 19th century English variant of the 17th Century Dutch
>> "pompelmoes" or "pompelmousse."    Granado may have a recipe with 
>> pomelos,
>> but you might want to double check original usage and translation in the
>> Spanish.
> </snip>
> Not sure how relevant this is, but I believe that pompelmousse translates
> into grapefruit, although I'm blitzing on whether it's from the French or
> the German. Living in Canada, although having studied German in High 
> School
> in the US, gets my root words mixed up sometimes....
> Ilsebet

Pampelmüse is the German.  It translates to both grapefruit and shaddock 
(pomelo).  The Dutch "pompelmoes" appears to derive directly from the Malay 
"pumpulmas."  This suggests that general European knowledge of the fruit did 
not occur until the trading ventures of the 17th Century, which would have 
made for a rather fast migration from Asia to the Caribbean, as the fruit 
appears to have arrived there in the late 17th Century.

The essential issue is that the various forms of the word and their usage 
appear to be post-1600, which leaves the translation of any pre-1600 
reference to pomelos or grapefruit open to question.

It is possible that grapefruit or pomelos were introduced into Spain either 
by the Arabs or from Asia via Portugal and the spice trade prior to 1600. 
If the translation is accurate, then derivation and contemporary usage 
become critical in roughly determining what is being described and the 
history of the fruit in Europe.  According to some sources, the fruit was 
introduced to Spain by the Arabs.  I have yet to see a definitive argument 
for that opinion.


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