January 2009


Contact: Ann Thacker
For TexaSweet Citrus Marketing, Inc.
830.596.1949 713.702.5528

Specialty grapefruit recipe challenge deadline looms
Texas Rio Star Grapefruit Recipe Challenge offers cash incentives for best recipes.

MISSION, TEXAS — Peak production and hand harvesting of Texas Rio Star grapefruit occurs in January and February - just in time to reinforce New Year’s resolutions for healthy eating, celebrate February as National Grapefruit Month and on April 1 honor winners of the first Rio Star Grapefruit Recipe Challenge.

Producers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley are gearing up to meet consumer demand over the next few months by calling special attention to the Rio Star through sponsorship of their first recipe contest with co-sponsor, Taste of the South magazine. The challenge is open to both home cooks and professionals. A total of $5,000 in prize money will be awarded. Contest deadline is February 15 and winners will be announced April 1.

Taste of the South magazine was approached to co-sponsor the first Rio Star Grapefruit Recipe Challenge because its focus is on cooking enthusiasts - not just in the South, but nationwide.

“Taste of the South is filled with more than 60 recipes and helpful information on the South's favorite foods. In addition, every issue features stories and recipes about the freshest fruits, vegetables and other products indigenous to the South. We’ve found that our readers are from all regions of the country,” said the magazine’s editor, Lorna Reeves. “Traditional foods of the South are compelling to cooks everywhere,” she elaborated.

“Our involvement in the Rio Star Recipe Challenge will add to our inventory of traditional and non-traditional culinary interpretations of grapefruit recipes. We’re looking forward to seeing and trying the finalists’ creations," Reeves said.

Contest entry forms and rules may be requested by writing to Texas Rio Star Grapefruit Challenge, 901 Business Park Drive, Ste. 100, Mission, Texas 78572. Please enclose a self-addressed-stamped envelope.

“The Rio Star grapefruit is a very red, sweet variety that grapefruit lovers are excited to see in the stores each winter,” said Eleisha Ensign, executive director and spokesperson for TexaSweet Citrus Marketing, Inc. “Rio Star is 10 times redder than the original Ruby Red and can readily be identified by its overall blush on the exterior peel and deep red interior color,” she continued.

This specialty grapefruit is grown exclusively in the southern-most tip of Texas – the Rio Grande Valley – where warm tropical breezes and a temperate climate offer excellent growing conditions. Texas citrus is tree-ripened and handpicked to ensure superior quality throughout the season. Rio Star grapefruit is distributed nationally and exported to Canada and other countries each season from October through May.


Editor note: Additional generic and recipe photography is available at www.texasweet.com.


Rio Star Fiesta Salad
Fresh citrus, jicama and radishes marry well with a healthful dressing
topped with pomegranate seeds, pumpkinseed kernels and cilantro.

Rio Star Fiesta Salad healthy and delicious.
Click here to download the full resolution image.

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, rinsed, drained and patted dry
4 Texas Oranges (sectioned, reserving juice)
1 Rio Star Grapefruit (sectioned, reserving juice)
3 cups peeled and cubed jicama (about 1 pound)
¾ cup slivered red radishes (1 bunch, about 10 to 12 radishes)

1 ½ teaspoons grated lime peel
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 large lime)
3 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of salt

1 cup pomegranate seeds, if desired
3 tablespoons toasted pumpkinseed kernels, if desired
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For salad:
Place lettuce in a large serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed. To section oranges and grapefruit, put each piece of fruit on a cutting surface. Using a sharp thin-bladed knife, cut off both ends of the fruit. Place on flat end and cut away peel from top to bottom along curvature of the fruit. Remove all white pulp. Hold peeled fruit over a second large bowl. Section oranges and grapefruit by cutting down along fruit sections to the center. Turn knife to loosen section and lift out. Remove other sections the same way. As the juice is released from the sectioning process, allow it to drip into the bowl. Add jicama and radishes to citrus sections and juice; toss gently.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

For dressing and assembly:
In a small bowl combine lime peel, lime juice, yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, pepper and salt. Stir until smooth.  Set aside. Remove salad mixture and romaine lettuce from refrigerator. Using a slotted spoon, drain liquid from salad mixture and distribute salad over romaine lettuce. Drizzle dressing evenly.

For garnish:
Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, pumpkinseed kernels, and cilantro.  

Note: Dried cranberries or dried cherries may be substituted for pomegranate seeds. Pumpkinseed kernels may be purchased already toasted. Toasted pine nuts or toasted sliced almonds may be substituted for pumpkinseed kernels. To toast nuts, place in a roasting pan in a single layer in a 350-degree oven. Toss several times until light golden brown, being careful not to overcook.

Makes about 6 one-cup servings.

Click here to download the full resolution sectioning tips image.

The Thacker Group, Inc.
PO Box 4843
Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657
phone 830.596.1949 | fax