How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Recently a reader, Noel ‘reminded’ me that I have been slacking off on my “Back to Basics’ section. That I sure have been! I have been baking, cooking and trying out new stuff as always and that which gives me so many avenues to explore basic techniques, methodologies, usage of terms etc – but in the heat of cooking the recipe, I often end up forgetting to take pictures for these particular aspects.  But recently I was trying out something new with grapefruit and when I was just going to segment them, I remembered my “Back to Basics’ section and thought why not..?

Today I am going to show you what the word ‘Supreme’ means when used in connotation of fruits. The act of Supreme means ” to remove the skin, pith, membranes, and seeds of a citrus fruit and separate its wedges.” You will have come across this term often enough if you watch Food Network. The chef’s use it a lot. Lets see how to Supreme a Grapefruit in this post. You can do the same for any Citrus fruits like orange etc.


Trim the edge of the grapefruit – all the way to the juicy flesh.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Repeat the other side. You should be able to make it sit on the board.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

You should cut it in such a way that you can see the insides of the fruit like in the picture below.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Now place the knife at an angle to the fruit and cut it down, all the way to the bottom, starting from the curve on top. You can see the depth of the skin of the fruit and place your knife on the inner edge of the skin.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

The idea is to remove all the skin and the pith at the same time but making sure that its not cut too deep thereby removing the fruit too. You don’t want to lose half of the fruit just the skin and pith.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Repeat again for all the sides until the skin is completely off.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Its totally fine if some of the pith is left out. Better that than getting the fruit out. Using the same technique just remove the pith alone.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Once all the skin and pith have been removed, hold the fruit above a bowl. This is to catch the fruit juice that would flow from your fingers while you are segmenting. You don’t want to waste the juices. If you see the fruit now, you will notice there are small membranes that separate the segments.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Slice down along the membrane

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Slice down the other side which surrounds the piece. Push your knife at an angle below and push it up in order to remove that segment. So what happens is the fleshy part of the segment comes out leaving the cover/membrane behind.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Repeat this on all sides making sure run the knife along the membranes. You will find that you have the membranes left over once the segments are all out.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

No, don’t throw it away yet! Squeeze out these membranes or should we call it the skeletons over the bowl to release all the juices. There’s usually a lot of juice left in them.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Once squeezed dry, throw these pieces away.

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

Now this is what is called as Supreme. These segments can be used in salads, baked goodies or in any way you choose to enjoy!

How to Supreme Fruits (Grapefruit, Orange etc)

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44 Responses to “How to Supreme Grapefruit”
  1. Jim

    Much prefer the “inside-out” method that gets 100% of the fruit off of the membrane. There’s a YouTube video at which shows the method. Or go to YouTube and search for “Easy Inside-Out Way to Section or Supreme Citrus for Perfect Segments”.

  2. Gary

    I actually came up with this idea without ever knowing anyone else was doing it, and I just found out today that it is called “Supreming”. Here is what I do differently. I peel it first, then wash that oil off my hands. It tastes terrible. I then use a ceramic knife to cut the pith off. Then I pull the grapefruit apart and then from the center, I pull one membrane away from the segment, then just before it would pull away from the next membrane, if you pull 90 degrees from the next segment, the membrane you are pulling will begin to pull the next membrane back. Pull it to the center then remove the segment. Repeat the process and with some practice, you can keep all the membranes in a long chain.

    More advise… use Texas Rio-Star grapefruit, PLU number 4289. Grapefruit at the beginning of the season, Oct-Nov, are beyond sour, but they get delicious in December. If you think Grapefruit taste bitter like my co-workers that watch me do this, it’s probably because you try to eat the pith and membrane. They taste terrible. Try Supreming. It’s delicious!

  3. Joy

    My Thai friend entertained me with some pamplemousse (grapefruit) segments with a dip of sugar/salt/chilli powder. Just a different way of serving what is already a beautifully tasty fruit. Nice for a change.

  4. Lynn

    I mis-read your instructions but because of that I think I’ve found an even quicker method. Once the fruit is peeled, make your first cut into the fruit along the membrane. But instead of pulling the knife out and cutting along the next membrane, turn the knife blade and cut from the middle out. You almost don’t need to cut as the segment will almost pop out of the grapefruit. And you lose very little fruit on that second ‘cut’.

  5. grapefruit_fiend

    I love grapefruit. I used to cut it in half, pre-cut around the membrane with a serrated grapefruit knife, and use a grapefruit spoon to separate the fruit from the pith. It was annoying! So, I started to do it by the above method. But still, it is a pretty wasteful method, and you end up with a lot of juice.

    So, here is my trick to the best supremes! As I am making the first slice next to the membrane, I continue down through the other half of the fruit, making sure to stay next to the membrane the whole cut. Now the grapefruit is sliced in half, and I can set down the knife and just peel the membrane away from the fruit and then lift the supreme away from the other membrane. It is much faster, and less wasteful than the above method. As a bonus, if you are careful, the seeds mostly stay stuck to the membranes.

    One more tip for those of you who need them to be perfect. After slicing in half and setting down the knife, use something small/flat (the dull edge of a paring knife, or a toothpick, etc) and work (from the middle, outward) by sliding it inbetween the fruit and the membrane to help peel away the first layer so you can lift up the fruit. This prevents any of the pulp from separating from the main supreme part.

    And thats all i know. It takes about 2 minutes to do all this, which is the same amount of time that it used to take me to pre-cut them.

  6. Adrianne


  7. Very useful .. Loved the step-by-step pics.

  8. Beautiful grapefruit segments.

  9. I mean red ones.White is available here

  10. Great Post.Love this section.I miss grapefruit

  11. Great post. Grape fruit makes a great diet breakfast!

  12. Very helpful for many of us, thanks for sharing..

  13. You will not believe the timeliness (is that a word) of this post.. Just last week, I was looking for a video on youtube on how to cut grapefruit.. I love the fruit… but I always end up wasting a lot due to my inexperience in cutting a grapefruit.. loved that video.. this is very helpful :)

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