It is a natural (non-hybrid), citrus fruit, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit, native to South and Southeast Asia. The pomelo is one of the original citrus species from which the rest of cultivated citrus have been hybridized. The popular fruit is used in many festive celebrations throughout Southeast Asia.
Typically, the fruit is pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh, and a very thick albedo (rind pith). It is a large citrus fruit, 15–25 centimeters (5.9 to 9.8 in) in diameter, usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2 to 4.4 lb). Leaf petioles are distinctly winged. The typical pomelo is much larger than the grapefruit and has a much thicker rind. It tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit (believed to be a hybrid of Citrus maxima
and the orange). The flesh has none, or very little, of the common grapefruit's bitterness. The enveloping membranous material around the segments is bitter, considered inedible, and usually discarded.
Sometimes, the peel is used to make marmalade. It may be candied or dipped in chocolate. In Brazil the thick skin is often used for making a sweet conserve, while the spongy pith of the rind is discarded. In Sri Lanka it is often eaten as a dessert, either raw or sprinkled with sugar. Some fatty Asian dishes use sliced pre-soaked pith to absorb the sauce and fat for eating. In large parts of Southeast Asia, where Citrus maxima
is native, it is a popular dessert, often eaten raw and sprinkled with, or dipped in, a salt mixture. It is eaten in salads and drinks as well.