Last call – Rio Star grapefruit recipe challenge
MISSION, TEXAS — Each year, February is celebrated as American Heart Month, Sweet Potato Month, National Cherry Month, Fabulous Florida Strawberry Month and National Grapefruit Month among many other special events.
What do these colorful orange and red foods have in common? They (and other richly-colored fruits and vegetables) are recognized and appreciated like never before for their positive contributions to heart-healthy diets and positive lifestyles – perfect choices to honor American Heart Month.
The producers of Texas Rio Star grapefruit are celebrating grapefruit month by sponsoring a national recipe contest for consumers and professional cooks in the US and Canada. A total of $5,000 in prize money has been allocated to contest winners. The objective is to call greater awareness regarding the versatility of Rio Star, a unique variety of grapefruit. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
The deadline for recipe entries is February 15. Rules and a contest entry form may be found atwww.riostarchallenge.com. The co-sponsor of the Rio Star Grapefruit Challenge is Taste of the South magazine.
“From selecting the freshest fruits and vegetables to learning from the region’s outstanding chefs, loyal Taste of the South readers from all states tell us the topics found in this culinary-focused magazine make it an indispensable kitchen reference,” said the magazine’s editor, Lorna Reeves.
“We are honored to partner with the professional staff of Taste of the South magazine for our first recipe contest. Their expertise and dedication to high quality are a compliment to the citrus growers in Texas,” said Eleisha Ensign, executive director and spokesperson for TexaSweet Citrus Marketing.
“The support of Taste of the South is definitely driving interest. We’ve received several hundred recipe entries so far and are anticipating a last-minute rush to meet the cut-off-date. It seems some of us need the pressure of a deadline to follow through, whether it’s for a recipe contest or turning in an income tax return,” Ensign continued.
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. Enclose a self-addressed-stamped envelope.
Rio Star grapefruit is a variety that combines the two reddest varieties – Rio Red and Star Ruby. It has an overall blush on the exterior peel with a deep red interior color that is seven to 10 times redder than the Ruby Red.
Rio Star is in the marketplace from October through May. The peak months of the season are February, March and April. It is distributed nationally and exported to Canada and other countries each season.
Each piece of fruit will display a Rio Star sticker ensuring its authenticity. Grapefruit that feels heavy for its size signals that it contains a lot of juice. “Tropical Beauty Marks,” or blemishes on the outer rind, are caused by gentle breezes, common in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. These blemishes do not affect the quality and flavor of the fruit inside.
“The Rio Star variety is very red, sweet and juicy. Grapefruit lovers look forward to seeing Rio Star in local stores each winter. These grapefruit are 10 times redder than the well-known, Ruby Red variety, ” said Ensign.
Rio Star grapefruit is grown exclusively in the southern-most tip of Texas. It is tree-ripened and handpicked to ensure superior quality throughout the season.
Editor note: Generic and recipe photography is available at www.texasweet.com.
Texas Rio Star Grapefruit & Chicken Pita Pocket
This healthy hand-held sandwich is a perfect tribute to National Grapefruit Month
- 1 Rio Star grapefruit, sectioned
- 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 pita rounds, cut crosswise in half
Mix grapefruit, chicken and almonds in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, parsley, celery and pepper; mix lightly. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Divide mixture equally into each pita pocket just before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Note: Pita bread is a flat bread, sometimes called pocket bread. It may be made of white or whole-wheat flour. Each round splits horizontally to form a pocket into which ingredients can be stuffed to make a sandwich.