Ugli Fruit: A Strange Citrus

It’s getting “ugli” at BSW today. But we all know that the Weekly Bite motto is no judgment pre-taste test. So, shall we debut the unattractive little guy?

The ugli fruit is a fruit of many names…also known as the uniq fruit or unique fruit, the Jamaican tangelo has flavors of a sweet grapefruit. Think sourer than an orange but less bitter than a tangerine –otherwise known as a citrusy delight. A clementine addict will go gaga over this equally easy to peel fruit. Anyone down for loaning us a backyard in Jamaica so we can have arms reach access to the overgrown navels? Pretty please?! Those without Jamaica access (major sigh) should be relieved to know that ugli fruit is distributed to most major grocery stores between November to April. Yes, this means a trip to the store is in order right about now.

ugli fruit
via flickr

When you do get to the store the unsightly appearance may make you silently scream (or not) “ROTTEN!!” in the fruit section, but BSW readers know better than to do that. The rough, wrinkled, blemished rind is home to an orange, juicy citrus that is hidden beneath the bumps and bruises. And once you get past the pot-marked skin and into the fleshy goodness you have an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber at your fingertips. Yes they are bumpy, lumpy and, well, ugly. But the grapefruit gone wrong is not short on nutrition or taste.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to tell your friends or family you are serving them food that has the world ugly in the recipe title because the citrus hybrid is actually pronounced OO-gli. Practice that long “U” sound when you are getting up close and personal with ugli fruit in the kitchen to instantly convert your fellow eaters into oo-gily lovers. Use the ugli fruit as you would most other citrus fruits, but if you are feeling especially into (repulsive looking—JK!) experimentation, try these:

Ugly fruit, great personality. Oh, how looks can be deceiving…I’m talking about our eats, of course, but relationship advice too maybe?? J

Have you ever tried ugli fruit? What is the “ugliest” fruit or vegetable you have ever eaten? Do tell in the comments section!

Feature photo courtesy of Terwilliger911 via Flickr (CC BY 3.0)
Photo 2 courtesy of REL Waldman via Flickr (CC BY SA-3.0)


  1. Wow! Learn something new every day. I have never ever heard of this fruit before (and I spend a lot of time in the produce section).

    Thanks for introducing me to something new. I’ll keep my eyes ‘peeled’ (terrible pun, I know) for ugli fruit on my next trip to the grocery store!

    • Glad to introduce you to a new fruit! There are so many out there besides our norm apples, oranges and bananas. That is what the Weekly Bite is all about! Hope you get your hands on one before it goes out of season.

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE these!!!!! I haven’t had one since I lived in VA but if I find one here in nowheresville, NC I am all over it like white on rice =) I totally want to try that salad now too — cara cara is one of my absolute favs too!

  3. So, if I make Ugli sauce and put it over my scallops, will my scallops be ugly? Naaah! Scallops are never ugly. Sweet grapefruit, I am sold. I have never had Ugli fruit but is sounds delish and I will definitely grab one to go the next time I find one. I have a thing for grapefruit, add a little sweetness and I might just think I have died and gone to heaven. Can’t wait to give it a try!

    • It is so fun to discover hybrids of our favorite fruits…I too am a grapefruit fan but find they can be very tart at times so a little sweetness really helps.

  4. Dear Editor, Author, or persons authorized to give copyright permission.

    I am writing to you to get the permission to use your articles in my book The Foodpedia Fresh Fruits and Vegetables books series and other books will follow, on the history of other items in the food world. That will help the people of the world to eat and stay Healthier.

    I care and I hope you care about passing on to the new generation to stay Healthier.


    I am writing these books to “give back” my knowledge to the next generation of people, all over this world. I am writing these books to educate the people about the advantages of eating “Fresh Fruits” and “Fresh Vegetables” and how they can help themselves to have a healthier body, and the foods that are not good for a healthy body.

    I got your name from the website. On the Fruit you wrote about. I have your name on the information that I used, so that you will get all the credit on it. I do not want the credit for your works. You’re the one that did all the research on the food items. I have to rely on you for all this knowledge and your researchers.

    I praise you for this, that is why I want you to get all the credit you put in to these articles.
    I have to rely on your help to teach and training our next generation to live healthier. Then living on all this junk food and all the chemical’s they put into the foods we eat today.
    That is why we are the product of this generation of obesity etc. We have to help our new generation to eat and stay healthier so they can have a better life, then being sick and overweight all the time.
    The world is changing and we have to change with it NOW for our kid’s sake.

    This is the 21st Century NOW, and we have to do something about it NOW!
    I am on a movement (mission) [email protected] caring and share to help, not to make the same mistake this generation and our pass generations has made, to help them live healthier lives better then we did.

    But I need your help to get this mission (movement) going. I need your permission to let this happen, to use your research in food, to train and educate the people of the world to eat healthier.

    Remember the people will go to your website for more updates. Because you are always updating it, that I cannot do.
    Can you please e-mail the permission letter to authorize me to use your articles in my books (The History of Fresh Fruits. { Foodpedia The History of Fresh Fruit }) I have about 130 chapters of some of the fresh fruit used around the world, with over 5,000 color pictures, and about 5,000 pages).
    Can you please email {[email protected] } with your permission to use your articles so we can help the this and the next generation to live and be healthier.

    Thank You Chef Paul J. Hintersteiner

    Enclosed is the website of the articles I need permission on


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