Lemons are among the world’s most beloved and versatile fruits, used in everything from drinks to snacks, savory and sweet dishes and snacks.
Lemons are a citrus fruit, which means that they're loaded with delicate, pulpy sacs containing flavorful liquid. The fruit explodes with sweetly tart, sour juice that matches the bright mood of its cheery, yellow color. Lemon has a quintessentially citric acidity, that’s far less sweet than an orange, but tastes sweeter than a lime. Lemons are somewhat bitter, whereas limes’ bitter flavor is more pronounced.
Famous for their versatility and bright lavor, lemons grows on leafy evergreen trees in warm climates around the world. Lemons are considered fruits rather than vegetables because lemons are the reproductive parts of the lemon tree. Most of the lemon is edible, which excludes the inedible white pith of the peel and the seeds.
Roughly ranging in size from a hacky sack to a grapefruit, lemons are typically harvested when they’re already ripe. Ripe lemons are completely yellow throughout their peel and have no remaining blushes of green color. Their skin is taut and waxy, and yields to gentle pressure from your thumb. If you happen upon a lemon that still has green coloring, allow it to rest on a countertop for a day or two until it turns completely yellow.
Lemons trees grow around the world in Mediterranean-like climates such as in Italy, Greece, Mexico, Israel and Lebanon. In the United States, most lemons are cultivated in California, Arizona and Florida. This tree is leafy year-round, and can bloom and produce fruit multiple times throughout the year. Lemon tree leaves are sometimes used as a spice or as part of tea blends.
On the outside, lemons come in a range of yellow colors from pale and bright to golden like a meyer lemon. This yellow layer is the upper part of the peel, resting on top of a thick, white pith. Together, the lemon peel forms a striking yellow peel with a pliant, leathery texture. Inside, the fruit is juicy and jewel like, with nectarous citrus pulp. Lemon fruit is pale, sunny yellow and the juice is a translucent, yellowish-white color.
Ripe lemons are completely yellow throughout their peel and have no remaining young, green color. Their skin is taut and waxy, and yields to gentle pressure from your thumb.
Even though lemons are typically harvested when ripe, it’s possible to get one that needs a little more time to ripen. If you have a young lemon that still has green coloring, allow it to rest on a countertop for a day or two. Once the lemon is completely yellow, it’s time to start squeezing.
Lemons are easy to prepare for countless preparations. The thin, yellow part of the peel can be grated into flavorful zest or ribboned for confectionary applications. Slice lemons into wheels or wedges as garnish or individually squeezable servings. Juice lemons in a squeeze dish or press to separate their flavorful liquid from the pulpy skin and leathery peel. Thin strips of lemon peel can be served alongside espresso for the drinker to squeeze the flavorful essential oils into the brew. We think you’re getting the picture - lemons are deliciously versatile for all kinds of food and beverage preparations!
The pale seeds found inside lemon sections are bitter and inedible. It’s best to discard the seeds before eating, drinking or using lemon in dishes.
Lemons grow around the world in Mediterranean-like climates such as in Italy, Greece, Mexico, Israel and Lebanon. In the United States, most lemons are grown in California, Arizona and Florida. Obviously the fruit of the lemon tree is well known, but the leaves are also cultivated to use as a spice and in teas.
According to the USDA, one medium-small lemon has nearly 45mg of vitamin C. It’s no wonder that honey lemon tea feels so good during cold season! Here's even more information about nutrition-packed lemons.
Lemon Nutrition (one 2⅜ inch lemon)
- Calories 24
- Carbohydrate 9g
- Fiber 2g
- Sugar 2g
- Calcium 22mg
- Iron 0.5mg
- Magnesium 7mg
- Phosphorous 13mg
- Potassium 116mg
- Vitamin C 45mg
Lemons are cultivated in warm, subtropical climates year-round. Even though most lemon trees bloom year-round, their peak season is typically considered to be late summer to early fall.
Lemon goes in just about everything. Perhaps the most congenial of fruits, lemons pair well with produce, proteins and grains to bring a strong acidic dimension to flavors that are sweet, rich, spicy, salty and everything in between.
Lemons are a citrus fruit, which means that they’re loaded with delicate, pulpy sacs containing flavorful liquid. The fruit explodes with sweetly tart, sour juice that matches the bright mood of its cheery, yellow color. Lemon has a quintessentially citric acidity, that’s far less sweet than an orange, but sweeter than a lime. Lemons are somewhat bitter, whereas limes’ bitter flavor is more pronounced.
Ask a hundred people how to eat lemon and you’re likely to get a hundred answers! In their raw state, lemon zest, juice and the inner sections of fruit are eaten in all kinds of dishes. The zest contains essential oils with concentrated lemon flavor, and is usually finely grated into salads, soups, savory dishes and desserts alike. Lemons can be roasted whole or alongside vegetables and meats, squeezed into sauces and pastry cream, or used to make a classic royal icing.
Lemon might be the most popular fruit in beverage history. Whether floating a thin lemon wheel in a delicate cocktail, squeezing it into teas, sipping it in sodas or enjoying a classic lemonade, there are endless ways to drink lemons.
Fresh lemon juice and zest is used in juice recipes, smoothies, enhanced water, cocktails, sodas, teas and sweet dessert drinks.
To make delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, use lemons to make a basic syrup, for drinks.
Lemons can usually stay fresh on the countertop for just over a week. To prolong the life of your lemons, place them in a sealed bag or container and store them in the refrigerator for a month or more.
For the best of both worlds, store your lemons in the fridge, and take them out as you need them. Lemons that are at room temperature are easier to work with and release more juice.
Can dogs eat lemon flesh? Technically, yes. However, they can only tolerate lemons in small quantities because the naturally occurring chemical compounds in lemons can give your pup one terrible tummy ache. In general, pooches don’t care much for things that taste sour or bitter, so save your citrus for the humans who like it most.
Your FruitStand fam encourages you to clear the safety of any new fruits or veggies with your veterinarian before offering them your pooch.
While lemon has a very faint color, it can leave a stain on some fabrics. Quickly treating a lemon juice spot helps increase your chances of avoiding a stain.
If lemon gets on your clothes, table cloth or other fabrics, first treat the spot with a stain remover that’s safe for that particular fabric. Follow the directions on the product to prevent the spot from setting, and pop the item into the washer as soon as you can.
Are lemons the same as limes? No! While both lemons and limes are considered citrus fruits, they are two different species. Lemons are yellow to golden in color, both on their peel and their inner fruit. Lemons vary in size but are usually larger than limes. Unlike lemons, limes have green skin and fruit. Both have a tangy, bright acidity to their flavor. However, lemons have a sweeter tart flavor, while limes have a fresh, sour taste.
Lemons have a decent shelf life, but when they spoil, you may smell something a little moldy. To get smells from bad lemons out of your house, immediately discard the spoiled fruit. Then, with warm, soapy water, clean the surfaces where the fruit touched. If lemons begin to rot in the refrigerator, pop in a fresh, old-fashioned box of baking soda to keep your food and fridge smelling clean.