Learn About Lemons

Author: Chef Toby

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What are Lemons? 

Lemons are a yellow, spherical citrus fruit that grows on trees in warm climates. The fruits have a bright yellow rind with tiny bumps, followed by a thin white pith and juicy flesh with seeds at the center. They are popular among many different cuisines, including Mediterranean and Latin American foods. 

Lemons On A Cutting Board With Herbs And Spices.
Lemons on a cutting board with herbs and spices.

What do Lemons taste like? 

Lemons have a bright, citrusy scent and a complex, sour flavor. The pith is very bitter and usually isn’t eaten.

How do you eat Lemons?

You can use lemons in a variety of culinary applications, from savory dishes to desserts. Lemons are not usually eaten on their own but are paired with other ingredients to give flavor and acidity. Lemon rind can be zested with a grater and added to sauces and desserts to give lemon flavor. Lemon juice can also be used and squeezed on to proteins like chicken or fish, and on vegetables to add a bright flavor. Because lemons are acidic, they are a great ingredient to pair with rich ingredients like avocado, bacon, olive oil, and seafood. 

On the contrary, lemons also pair well with sweet and are popular for making desserts like cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and loaves. 

Where do you buy Lemons?

Lemons can be purchased year-round at any grocery store. They are often sold in prepackaged bags by the pound or sold individually. 

How should I store Lemons?

Lemons can be stored both at room temperature and in the refrigerator. Lemons at room temperature will be juicier upon use, but lemons in the refrigerator will last much longer – about a month. You can also store freshly squeezed lemon juice by freezing it in icecube trays and popping the cubes out into a zip-top bag and store it in the freezer for up to six months. 

Fun Fact About Lemons

Did you know

Lemons are a very healthy fruit! Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which is great for a variety of different bodily functions, such as boosting the immune system, promoting heart health, protecting against Iron deficiency, and even reducing the risk of cancer. 

Our Recipes Using Lemons

Guacamole

In our guacamole video recipe, we use lemon to brighten up the snack dish.

How To Make Authentic Guacamole

Strawberry Water 

In our strawberry agua fresca, we use a small amount of lemon juice to add a slight tang to the drink.

Strawberry Water (Agua De Fresa) Recipe

Blueberry Lemonade

In our blueberry lemonade recipe, we use lemon juice as the base flavor for the lemonade, along with blueberry puree and sugar.

Blueberry Lemonade Aguas Frescas

Other Recipes Using Lemons

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is a great recipe to know because the curd can be used in a variety of other recipes like pies and cookies. To make the lemon curd start by putting eggs, sugar, salt, and lemon juice into a small saucepan. Whisk these ingredients together and then put it over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture has thickened, turn it off the heat and add in butter, and stir before allowing it to cool.

Lemon Bars

To make this delicious layered dessert, start by making the crust layer. To do this, start by combining melted butter with sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and flour to form a sticky dough. Press this dough onto a baking dish lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven until it’s golden brown. For the lemon custard layer, sift together flour and confectioners sugar, and add eggs and lemon juice to the mixture and whisk thoroughly. Pour this over the crust and bake in the oven again until the custard sets. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve with fresh blueberries. 

Lemon Picatta Sauce 

Chicken piccata is a very popular Italian dish, but the sauce itself pairs great with a variety of different things, like proteins, pasta, and vegetables. To make it, start by heating butter on a skillet and add olive oil and flour. Cook until the flour has slightly browned, add chicken broth, lemon juice, and cook until the broth thickens into a sauce. Add capers and serve over chicken or your ingredient of choice. 


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