Culinary, lemon is the most popular citrus in cooking, marinating, and salad dressings.According to archaeologists, the tree originated in India’s Deccan Plateau and spread westward to the Mediterranean Sea.
Europeans brought the lemon tree to the Americas.
The tree can grow up to 10 metres, but for ease of harvesting, large-scale growers keep it much shorter.
It likes subtropical climates (15 – 30 C), fertile, and well-drained soils, but also grows on poor soils, as is the case in southern Italy, especially around Sorrento, o the “Golden Coast”.
Lemon juice consists of 5 per cent citric acid and is much milder than regular vinegar.
Oil and lemon juice have a more vibrant and appealing flavour in salad dressings than the common vinaigrette.
Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Argentina, India, Brazil, and the U S A (California) are major lemon producers and exporters.
Lemon juice is sprinkled on grilled or pan-fried fish, used in marinades, tea, also to prevent oxidation of fruits, and preserved to serve along with a range of poultry recipes.
Arabs brought the lemon tree was to Sorrento. Here Jesuit priests in Massa Lubrense, developed the fragrant ovale di Sorrento, which is considered to be the most northerly local, variety, for acid and sweetness balance.
Sorrento liqueur producers make and market Limoncello much appreciated ice-cold by Italians after a fine meal.
Lemon peel is rich in essential oils, ideal for flavouring ice creams, and many other foods.
Meyer lemon, very popular with chefs in America, was bred in California and very much appreciated by gourmets because of its low acidity.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
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