Meyer Lemon (English: Meyer Lemon; scientific name: Citrus meyerii) is also known as: Beijing lemon, Meyer lemon, Meyer lemon, wild lemon, Chinese lemon . It is known as a unique gem among citrus fruits for its unique sweetness and aroma. Meyer lemons are considered a cross between a regular lemon and a tangerine. The fruit is about the size of a lemon, sometimes slightly smaller, and has smooth, dark yellow skin. When ripe, the thin skin appears almost orange. The pulp and juice are sweeter than regular lemons and can be eaten raw or cooked. Whole lemons can be used since the rind is thin and lacks the thick, bitter pith. Since Meyer lemons are considered a specialty, they can cost twice as much as regular lemons.
Background and history
Meyer lemons are named after agricultural explorer Frank N. Meyer, who discovered the plant and brought it back to the United States in the early 20th century. He discovered these particular lemons in their native China, where the plants are used as decorative houseplants. It wasn't until chefs like Alice Waters started using the fruit in her Chez Panisse restaurant that people discovered the fruit's true potential. Meyer lemons became mainstream in the early 2000s when Martha Stewart included them as an ingredient in several recipes.
Golden Color and Thin Skin: Meyer lemons are known for their vibrant golden color and thin, smooth skin. The round to slightly oval shape adds to their visual appeal.
Fragrant citrus bouquet
Aroma and Flavor: Meyer lemons are prized for their aromatic qualities, with a scent that blends the essence of lemon with floral notes to provide a unique sensory experience.
Sweet and tangy flavor
Meyer lemons taste similar to regular lemons, but are sweeter and more floral. They have less acidity, a thinner peel, and lack the spiciness and bitterness of typical lemons. It tastes a bit like tart lemon mixed with juicy orange. When ripe, they have aromas of citrus and spice. This makes them versatile in both sweet and savory cooking applications.
Baking and Desserts
Citrus Elegance: Meyer lemons enhance baked goods, desserts and beverages with their delicate flavor. Lemon tarts, tarts and cakes showcase the sweet and tangy flavor of Meyer lemons.
Preserves and Jams
Unique Jams and Marmalades: The aromatic qualities of Meyer lemons shine through in jams and marmalades. Their flavor adds a delightful twist to homemade jam.
Vitamin C content
Boosts immunity: Like other citrus fruits, Meyer lemons are rich in vitamin C, which helps support the immune system and collagen synthesis.
Free Radical Defense: The antioxidants in Meyer lemons help fight oxidative stress and support overall health.
Healthy Compounds: Meyer lemons contain citrus flavonoids, which have a variety of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.
Where to buy Meyer lemons
Meyer lemons are not as widely available as regular lemons. Because of their thin skin, they spread less easily and are more widely used in citrus growing areas. Still, Meyer lemons are sold in some specialist and organic markets, especially in winter, and you can sometimes find them online directly from the grower.
How to Store Meyer Lemons
For best results, store fresh Meyer lemons in an airtight plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Depending on how fresh they are, they will keep for a week or more. Stored at room temperature, lemons will stay fresh for several days.
Juice can be frozen in ice cube trays and stored in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to six months. Meyer lemons will keep for up to a year, candied peel for up to six months, cooked chutney or jam in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, or six months if canned correctly.
Horticulture and Cultivation
Container Friendly Tree
Adaptable Growth: Meyer lemon trees are ideal for container gardening, allowing those with limited outdoor space to grow them. They can thrive in a variety of climates but are sensitive to cold temperatures.
Harvest all year round
Continuous Bounty: Meyer lemon trees often bear fruit year-round, providing a steady supply for home gardeners and orchard enthusiasts.
Meyer lemons add a touch of elegance to the citrus family with their delicate sweetness and aromatic charm. Whether enjoyed fresh, squeezed into refreshing drinks or incorporated into culinary creations, Meyer lemons offer a delightful twist on traditional lemon flavor. You will be immersed in a citrus experience as you taste the unique properties of Meyer lemons, combining the best of lemons and tangerines to create a citrus gem that graces the world of culinary pleasure and home gardening.