Ipoh is clearly the most famed place for pomelos in Malaysia. So what is a pomelo? With a scientific name of citrus maximus or citrus grandis, the pomelo resembles a huge grapefruit. However, it shares none of the sour flavour of a grapefruit, being rather sweet when grown under ideal conditions. Furthermore, it comes in two colours like a grapefruit, white and pink, the white fruit being more highly regarded in Malaysia.
So, why are Ipoh pomelos so famed for their sweetness? My theory is that the tree responds to the limestone soils of the district, producing fruit of the highest quality. In fact, I intend to investigate this theory in our own garden by feeding our pomelo trees heavily with lime and dolomite.
In Ipoh, one of the easiest places to find pomelos is at the Hentian Limau (Citrus Stop) near Sam Poh Tong and Ling Sen Tong Temples. Here there are many stalls under the one roof selling the famed fruit. Be careful, though... pomelos can be rather expensive here due to the passing tourist trade.
We prefer to purchase our pomelos at Jalan Tambun (Tambun Road) not far from the city graveyards. This is in fact the locale in which the highly sought-after fruit is grown.
Ipoh is one of our favourite places in Malaysia. For us, entering Ipoh via the main highway from Kuala Lumpur is a breath-taking sight, with limestone hills jumping from the surrounding landscape. These encircling limestone hills are a signature of an interesting city.
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