The lemon bars that I favor is sold by a nifty dessert bar called Chocolat. They have the right amount of sour-ness and sweetness that I love.
|"It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health."|
~Maud Grieve: 'A Modern Herbal' (1931)
But did you know that:
- The lemon is a cultivated hybrid, and its predecessor – the citron – appears to be the first identified citrus fruit. Evidence of the lemon has been found in the ruins of Pompeii, which was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago.
- It is generally accepted that lemons were first cultivated in India.
- Lemons favor tropical and sub-tropical climates. They are grown in many Mediterranean and South American countries, although California is the top global commercial producer, providing nearly one-third of the world’s lemons.
- When shopping for lemons, look for a heavy, compact fruit with a bright yellow hue. They should be firm, but not hard. Their skin should be glossy and fine-pored. You’ll find them year round, but their peak season is April through July.
- Lemons will keep for up to two weeks at room temperature. You can extend their lifespan by refrigerating them in a zip-loc baggie for up to six weeks.
- Fresh lemon juice is preferable to bottled. You can squeeze lemon juice into ice cube trays, then transfer the frozen juice to zip-loc baggies.
- The chemical properties of the lemon – specifically, its characteristic citric acid – provide many valuable uses in the kitchen and in medicine.
- One of its most common chemical uses is to prevent browning of fresh-cut fruit. Because their acid slows oxidation in fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, lemons serve as a valuable preservative. Sprinkle lemon juice on apples, peaches, or other fruits that are likely to show the signs of oxidation immediately after slicing so that they will not brown.
- The citric acid found in lemons also neutralizes the amines found in fish, so their juice is often sprinkled atop seafood dishes. Similarly, this citric acid hydrolyzes meat’s collogen fibers, making it an ideal ingredient in marinades to tenderize beef, chicken, and other meats.
- On the medicinal front, lemons provide a large amount of vitamin C. (There are aboiut 50 milligrams of vitamin C and 5 grams of citric acid to every 100 milliliters of lemon juice.)
- Many practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine believe that lemon juice in hot water detoxifies the liver. This belief has spread to western culture, and is an often employed step in dietary detoxes.