WHAT IS A MEYER LEMON?
Named after a Mr. Frank Meyer, these citrus fruits were first imported to the States in the early 1900s. Smaller and rounder then traditional lemons (Eureka or Lisbon), famous chefs have made them a popular kitchen ingredient. They grow on trees 6 to 10 feet in height with white and purple flowers. And Meyer’s are less acidic. This more edible sweetness has led to their popularity in salads and desserts. In Asia however they’re still largely used as ornamental plants.
WHY ARE MEYER LEMONS GOOD FOR YOU?
Being a hybrid between a standard lemon and a mandarin orange, Meyer’s actually have characteristics from both fruits. While lemons in general have slightly more vitamin C then an orange, you’re less likely to eat a whole, raw Meyer lemon. Lemons are also rich in fiber and water.
WHEN ARE MEYER LEMONS IN SEASON?
While regular lemons are available year-round, the Meyer lemon is seasonal being a December through May crop on the North American West Coast.
HOW SHOULD MEYER LEMONS BE STORED?
They’ll keep for about a month in your refrigerator.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO JUICE A MEYER LEMON?
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ARE MEYER LEMONS FROM CHINA?
Up until the 1900s citrus wasn’t readily available throughout the States. Starting in the 20th century, the U.S. stretched its hegemony all the way to Florida in the South and then to California. With this Manifest Destiny “locally grown” citrus was now a possibility. Today, California is well known for its citrus production, not just commercially but as very much a part of nearly every suburban development from San Francisco in the North all the way to San Diego in the south. These unique lemons are native to China but were brought to the United States by Frank Nicholas Meyer, back in 1908. Meyer was an agricultural explorer–sort of an Indiana Jones of plants if you will–and collected thousands of plant species to bring back to his adopted home in the United States (he originally hailed from the Netherlands). (written by Chef Ramin Ganeshram).