The grapefruit first appeared after 1693 when a Captain Shaddock transported some pomelo seeds to the West Indies and planted them close to some orange trees. The pomelo and orange later cross-pollinated to create the grapefruit. However, the grapefruit was still unknown outside the Caribbean.
Europeans only learned of this citrus fruit in 1750 when Reverend Griffith Hughes encountered one. Hughes was so surprised with the discovery that he named the grapefruit “the forbidden fruit.” That was the name until 1814 when John Lunan called it the grapefruit because grapefruits resembled the smaller and unrelated grapes when they were still growing.
The grapefruit reached the United States in 1823 but was mistaken for the pomelo. It was only determined to be a distinct fruit in 1837. However, botanists were still confused about its origin. It wasn’t until 1948 that they discovered it was a hybrid of the pomelo and the orange.