Season's Eatings: PlacerGrown Lemons
DID YOU KNOW // Meyer lemons were first introduced to the U.S. from China in the early 1900s by Frank Meyer, from whom they got their name. They are thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, hence their sweeter taste.
NUTRITION // When life gives you lemons, it must be winter at the farmers’ market! High in vitamin C and antioxidants, citrus is a great way to put sunshine on your plate. The two most common types in our area are Eureka (also known as Lisbon) and Meyer. Eureka lemons are larger, with thick, textured, bright skin and medium yellow pulp. These lemons are highly acidic and only moderately sweet, so you get a real “pucker” with them. Meyer lemons are smaller and rounder with a smooth, thin orange skin, dark yellow pulp, and a spicy bergamot fragrance on their rinds that tastes and smells more like an herb or spice. They’re only moderately acidic so they taste much sweeter and can be added raw to salads or desserts . They’re also a favorite with cooks, thanks to their abundance of juice. While Eurekas are readily available year-round, Meyers are more seasonal and available December through May.
SELECTION AND STORAGE // It’s important to note that citrus is picked at optimal ripeness and won’t ripen further on the counter. Knowing this, you should look for fruit with clear, blemish-free rinds that feel heavy and avoid those with soft, tender spots or wrinkled skin. Smell the citrus and choose ones with a strong, sweet smell. You can always ask the grower for a sample. Store some on the counter and the rest in a cool, dry location. Make sure to throw out any fruit that starts to rot, so it doesn’t spread throughout your citrus.
For details on where to buy Placer County farm-fresh produce, wine, meat, and other local products, visit placergrown.org.
For the recipe to make Meyer Lemon Confit, visit http://www.stylergbr.com/2018/11/20/184326/placergrown-recipe-meyer-lemon-confit.
by Carol Arnold