Grapefruits growing on tree, close-up

People Aren’t the Only Ones Likely to Be Scarred by 2020!

There’s no point denying it: this year has been hard. From forest fires to the pandemic and everything it brought along with it, 2020 is a year that’s likely to leave many of us feeling a bit scarred. However, while things might be tough, there are still good things to look forward to and enjoy. We’re a bit roughed up, but life still has its sweetness.

One small source of joy we all can look forward to is the return of the Texas red grapefruit season! Texas grapefruit ripen during the fall and winter months for peak juicy goodness! However, like the rest of us, Winter Sweetz Rio Red grapefruits are likely to have more scars this year than usual. High hurricane gusts have left our fruit a bit windswept, but don’t worry: They’re still sweet on the inside!

While our grapefruits are still in great shape, many Texans suffered significant losses as a result of the 2020 hurricane season, with some still dealing with the after-effects from hurricanes past. To help our neighbors in need, please consider donating to recovery funds or volunteering your time.

What Really Causes Grapefruit Wind Scarring?

If you’re a lover of citrus fruit, you’ve probably seen wind scarring, even if you didn’t know what it was. Most citrus fruit you buy will have small patterns of light brown scars, usually in a lacey shape. But did you know that these marks are actually the result of the wind? Moreover, it’s not the wind itself that does the scarring.

Wind scarring along the peel of a Texas red grapefruit occurs when strong winds push and pull nearby twigs or leaves repeatedly against the surface of this sweet, citrusy fruit. Scars can also develop due to sand or dust in the air being blown across the fruits’ surface like sandpaper. These fresh abrasions occur when the fruit is just a few weeks old; then they heal and dry, resulting in a scar. The scar then grows along with the fruit.

Is Wind Scarring Bad for the Fruit?

The overall impact of wind scarring depends on the extent of the damage. The bad news is that if wind scarring is severe enough, the skin of the fruit can be damaged and that damage can lead to rot. In most cases, however, wind scarring is absolutely nothing to worry about. Most wind scarring is superficial only, meaning the fruit inside is still tasty and ready to be enjoyed!

The good news is that the team at Winter Sweetz are experts in recognizing the different kinds and causes of grapefruit scarring (check out this neat guide!). Our years of experience needed to identify fruits that are damaged by wind scarring helps us ensure that the very best Texas Rio Red grapefruit here at Winter Sweetz gets to your table.

Texas 2020 Hurricane Season

The year 2020 was a particularly hard year when it comes to hurricanes. According to The Washington Post, this year the National Hurricane Center used up its usual list of 21 names and had to begin using the Greek alphabet to name storms more than two months before the end of the hurricane season. This is only the second time in history that so many storms have developed to the point of being named. 

In particular, the southeasternmost point of Texas, the border between Texas and Louisiana, as well as the southern coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi were hard hit by storms. 

How Hurricanes Impact Citrus Orchards

Different growers across southern Texas saw a range of storm activity depending on their location, but each orchard is likely to have been impacted to some extent. According to The Packer, early estimates after Hurricane Hanna struck Texas showed that as much as 30% of some harvests may have been blown off the trees or damaged. The Texas International Produce Association measured winds exceeding 90 miles per hour during the storm.

However, there is a silver lining. Because so many fruits were blown off the trees, those that were left are likely to be large and high in quality. Fewer fruits on the tree means less competition for nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium for the fruits that remain. That alone is enough to make the rest of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 a great and healthy season for Rio Red grapefruits and grapefruit lovers!


Spotting the Perfect Grapefruit, Scars, and All!

Every Rio Red grapefruit is Mother Nature’s unique creation, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for in order to enjoy this fruit’s greatest potential. Unfortunately, from wind scarring to bumps, there are lots of little quirks to a good grapefruit that might make it hard to spot. For an easy method on how to find a delicious wind-swept Rio Red grapefruit, check out our trusty three-step guide!

1. Color — the first thing to look for when choosing the perfect Rio Red grapefruit is the color! While they’re named for their shiny red interior, Rio Reds should have a buttery yellow skin with a rose-tinted blush.

2. Shape — the perfect grapefruit is plump, a bit heavier than it looks.

3. Feel — once you’ve found a plump, blushing grapefruit, the last step is to give it a squeeze! You want a fruit that is firm with no soft spots. 

Remember, grapefruit skin has character. WInd scratches, discolorations, and minor flaws won’t impact the yummy goodness within.

Combat 2020 — with Grapefruit!

This year, we’re each facing difficulties, from job losses to illness, and that can make finding time for joy pretty difficult. The world may seem gloomy, but all of your favorite things still exist.

Now more than ever, it’s important that each of us tries to find happiness in the little things throughout our day while we wait for the world to return to something resembling normalcy. While you may not expect it at first, grapefruit might just be the thing we need right now. These delicious fruits are packed with nutrients that can help keep you healthy and juicy goodness that can bring a smile to your face.


Refer your grocer to our link below today to stock up on Winter Sweetz’s Rio Red grapefruit this coming season — or order some to your very own door when we start shipping out!

Let’s Get Started!

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