As you’d expect, there are many different types of citrus fruit in the Caribbean. You’ll see them in colourful piles in the markets - limes, lemons, oranges (or ‘greens’ as some of them ought to be known) and grapefruits. And you can have fun picking and crushing their leaves. They release an oily but tangy citrus smell.
But in Jamaica you will find other citrus fruits besides these, and they have their own idiosyncratic names. The shaddock, for instance, which is closely related to the grapefruit. Elsewhere it is known as the pomelo, but here it took this name from the Seventeenth Century English ship’s captain that introduced it to the island. And the tangor, as it is known in the rest of the world, a hybrid of the tangerine and a sweet orange. This name is just so much prosaic nonsense to the Jamiacans. For them it is an ortanique, part orange and part tangerine finished off with the -ique of unique.
And finally there is the delightfully named ugli fruit, which is exactly what its name says it is, a squat fruit with a nobbled and warty skin. It is a hybrid of a grapefruit, the orange and a tangerine. And just to prove the expression - beauty really is only skin deep in this case – its flesh is not ugly at all, but juicy and pleasant.
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