Lemon

Lemon

Synonym:
Citron
Plural:
Lemons, Citrons
Family:
Rutaceae – Citrus Family
Species:
Citrus limon

Origin

The lemon originates from Asia, but its exact homeland is unknown. It is thought to come from the Eastern Himalayas, Southeast Asia or Southern China. The Arabs were familiar with it by the 10th Century, and the Europeans probably became aware of it about 200 years later. Nevertheless, for a long time European cooks did not acidise with the precious citrus fruit, but with sour apples or grapes. On his second journey in 1493, Christopher Columbus took the fruits to overseas. In 19th Century, commercial cultivation began in Italy, Spain, Florida and California.

Plant

Lemons are not tropical plants but rather need the mild climate of the subtropics. The trees, up to 7 m high, are among the most attractive plants in the Mediterranean. The tender white blooms, light green unripe and shining yellow ripe lemons hang together contemporaneously with the dark green foliage.

Cultivation

Lemons are cultivated in the subtropical regions. The largest producers are the USA, Italy and Spain.

Importations

They are imported all the year round at first from Spain and Italy, then from Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, South Africa and several South American countries.

Fruit

Edible:
The entire fruit with an untreated peel.
Inedible:
A treated peel.
Better remove:
The white skin beneath the peel and the seeds.
Flavour:
It is sour.
Shape:
They are oval with a clearly noticeable point or small bulge at the base of the stem and bloom.
Bowl:
Depending on variety, the peel can be thin or thick. From damp climate it can be rough, from a dry region it can be smooth. Depending on how they are stored, they can be green or yellow; it has numerous oil glands on the outer skin and on the thick white skin on the inside.
Flesh:
It can appear a pale-yellow, divided into 7 to 10 segments with an egg-shaped core in each case; they taste juicy to very juicy.
Ripeness:
The fruits are shiny.
Overripe fruits:
They begin to mould.
Fruits stored for too lond:
The skin is dull and green; when you slice the fruit there are brownish spots in the flesh.

Usage

The Juice and peel can be used in sweet dishes and for baking. They can be boiled down together with oranges for marmalade. Also, they can be squeezed for beverages, sorbets, sauces or sliced for decoration.

Storage

They may be stored for approximately 14 days in a refrigerator or 8 days at room temperature. Like all other citrus fruit, lemons will not continue to ripen after the harvest.