[Sca-cooks] Can you identify the food?

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Thu Sep 4 09:55:47 PDT 2008

>I dug out my copy of Granado (a modern transcription in Spanish), and
> found I was mistaken.  The word is not "pomelos" but "toronjas".  I
> can't find the magnifier for my micro-print edition of Covarrubias,
> but I think "toronja" is a variety of citron.  In any case, it is
> *not* a pomelo.  I apologize for jumping in before I check my
> information.
> -- 
> Brighid ni Chiarain

Please don't apologize.  The current meaning of  "toronja" is grapefruit. 
And modern Spanish appears to differentiate between toronjas and pomelos.

I took a quick look at a couple of Spanish sites discussing toronjas.  From 
the little I was able to translate, toronjas originate in the Caribbean, 
which means the word may have been transferred to the grapefruit after it 
was hybridized from the pomelo.  The question is, what did the word mean in 
1599?  The similarity of toronja to naranja suggests that the word is a 
derivation from Arabic and if it was used to describe a grapefruit-like 
citrus in 1599, then it may be evidence of the Arabic introduction of 
pomelos into Spain.

The term grapefruit is a mid-19th Century American reference to a smaller 
variant of the shaddock, which suggests that equating "toronjas" with 
"grapefruit" is a relatively modern occurence.


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