Hundred-year-old Grapefruit Serving Suggestion


There’s a lovely suggestion for serving grapefruit in a hundred-year-old magazine. The membrane between the segments is removed, and a maraschino cherry (or other fruit) is added as a garnish.

When two of my children visited recently, I tried serving  grapefruit this way. The feedback very positive. Both agreed that the grapefruit was attractive and easy to eat.

Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine), March, 1916
Source: American Cookery (Boston Cooking School Magazine), April, 1916

Updated directions for modern cooks: Halve the grapefruit with a small paring knife; next cut around the edge of the grapefruit and around each segment, and then carefully remove several segments. With the knife cut the center membrane near where it is attached to the grapefruit rind, and then gently remove all of the membranes. After the membranes are removed, replace previously removed segments, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

45 thoughts on “Hundred-year-old Grapefruit Serving Suggestion

  1. I was a child in the 1950’s and recall my parents had a grapefruit knife. It was curved to help cut along the curve of the grapefruit, and serrated on both sides of the knife to cut thru the flesh. I now wonder whatever happened to that handy implement.

  2. This is exactly how my mother made/served grapefruit. I still eat a lot of this fruit—having a tree in the backyard—but maraschino cherries aren’t available in Australia, so I have to do without the decoration. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. I’m always learning new things from readers comments. I never would have guessed that maraschino cherries aren’t available in Australia – though the grapefruit is probably healthier without the cherry. I know that maraschino cherries are a very processed food (though they’ve been around for more than a hundred years), but they are so pretty and tasty. 🙂

    1. It’s how my mother always prepared it – and I still do the odd times we have grapefruit. It was no bother at all, and made it so much easier to eat. ‘Old fashioned’ is sometimes good!

  3. I still have a grapefruit knife and still use it. I never removed the membrane, though. The family was trained to eat the loosened segments with a spoon, and they were happy with that. Your photograph is lovely.

  4. I have both a curved grapefruit knife AND grapefruit spoons! They’re serrated at the tips, to make getting the sections out even easier, if the knife missed a spot. It certainly does make grapefruit eating more pleasant. An interesting note: in Liberia, people peel them, pull the segments apart, and eat them like an orange.

    1. It’s amazing how many specialized kitchen gadgets exist just to make it easier to eat grapefruit. 🙂 It’s interesting how grapefruit is served in different ways in different locales.

      1. I’m going to have to look for them. I don’t remember seeing grapefruit spoons and knives at kitchen gadget stores around here, but I probably missed them because I wasn’t looking specifically for them.

      1. I’m sorry I’m so behind on reading your posts. I miss reading them. Life’s a bit of a whirlwind it seems. Just curious where you get 100 year old magazines.

        1. It sounds like it could be fun to have an attic stuffed with treasures – but, no, that’s not where I get the recipes and other information that I post. Over the years I’ve purchased several hundred-year-old cookbooks from flea markets and Ebay, but I get most of the material from the library. I am very fortunate to live near a very good library that has lots of hundred-year-old magazines and books.

            1. Sometimes you can find old cookbooks from the early 1900s at amazingly low prices. I’m betting that you’ll find some nice ones.

  5. Wonderful responses for grapefruit, but so many of us oldies, but still goodies cannot eat grapefruit because of interactions with medications. Have not even had a desire to serve it, but the way Sheryl has shown us is beautiful and compelling.

    1. I can eat grapefruit, and didn’t think about it when I did the post, but you’re absolutely right – grapefruit is off limits for many people.

    1. mmm. . . I like the juice, too. After I eat the grapefruit segments, I typically squeeze the juice into my spoon so that I can enjoy every last bit of the grapefruit.

  6. I think preparing a grapefruit in this way would make it very cheerful looking.
    Your children’s positive review makes it a winner in my book. 🙂

    1. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a grapefruit knife, but I can remember some grapefruit spoons that my parents had when I was a child. If I ever see any grapefruit spoons at a store, I may have to buy some for myself. 🙂

        1. Thanks for the link. I had no clue what a grapefruit knife looked like until I cIicked on the link. It’s a really interesting looking knife.

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