Did You Know
* The lemon originated in China?
* Lemonade was a favorite of the Chinese Emperors?
* Lemons made their way to the United States with the help of Catholic Missionaries and were planted in Arizona and California? Today they produce virtually all of the lemons consumed in the United States as well as about one-third of those used throughout the world
(source The Packer Produce Availability & Merchandising Guide, 1999).
Lemons are valued for their many uses in flavoring the food we eat, as a garnish, and for household purposes.
Lemons should be firm and have a bright yellow color. Avoid soft, shriveled lemons with spots. The best lemons will be fine textured and heavy for their size. Thin skinned fruit tends to have more juice, while fruit that has a greenish cast is likely to be more acidic. One medium lemon has about 3 tablespoons of juice and 3 tablespoons of grated peel.
You may store lemons at room temperature for about two weeks. They will keep for up to six weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use lemons as quickly as possible after cutting.
There are two different types of lemons — acid and sweet. The most common acid varieties include Eurekas and Lisbons. The acidic type is grown commercially and the sweet types are grown mainly by home gardeners. The trees bloom continuously all year and can produce up to 500 or 600 lemons a year.
Make Lemons Part of Your 5 A Day Plan
Use lemons in marinates, especially for chicken and fish. Sprinkle lemon juice on top of your favorite steamed vegetables, seafood, and salads. Mix salad dressing with lemon instead of vinegar. Fresh grated lemon peels add that zest to baked goods, fruit salads, desserts, and sauces. Try replacing other fruits with lemon in your next frozen sorbet. You might drink more water during the day if you add some lemon juice to your water bottle, or a slice to a glass of water.
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