Hey there! Now, hold on a sec and don't make that funny face. I know we can be a bit tangy in taste, but trust me, we bring a real zing to your food and drinks. Just imagine, there is no lemonade without us lemons! And oh, those scrumptious lemon meringue tarts? Yeah, we're the stars there too!
But hey, it's not just about the taste. We've got some serious health benefits too. We're loaded with vitamin C, which is like a superhero for your immune system. So, we're not just delicious, we're also good for you.
In the big family of citrus fruits, we're related to oranges, mandarins, and grapefruits. You might notice we have an oval shape, about 7-9 cm long, with little points at each end. Our skin, also known as the rind, can be either smooth or a bit rough and bumpy, depending on our variety but is also delicious finely grated or zested. And when you slice us open, get ready for some juiciness! Our flesh is super juicy and has a sharp, tart flavour that can really wake up your taste buds.
We're generally available all year round with our best value from February to October.
Lemons are imported into Australia from November to January. Many people switch to enjoying limes when lemons are not in season.
Did you know?
Although we're not sold by variety there are three main types of lemons grown in Australia.
We're a sweeter lemon because we're a cross between a lemon and an orange. We have smooth thin skin.
We're the most common lemon variety in Australia. We’re juicy with a tart flavour and have a distinct point at one end. Our skin is rough and bumpy. We a generally seedless buy could have up to five seeds.
We have a smooth, bright yellow skin with a tangy taste. We are a medium sized lemon that have more seeds than other lemon varieties but are very juicy.
Why Lemons Are Good To Eat
How They are Grown and Harvested
Our parent tree is an evergreen and grows up to 2.5 metres. Like other citrus trees, it has a dense and rounded shape, with glossy, smooth, dark green leaves.
Select those of us that are plump and bright yellow-coloured that feel heavy for our size.
How to Keep Lemons
Store us at room temperature in a fruit bowl on your kitchen bench for up to 7 days. For longer storage, keep us in your fridge.
Prime Growing Areas
Lemons and limes are grown across Australia, with major production in Queensland with a significant volume also grown in the Sunraysia and Riverland areas around the border of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
History of Lemons
We've certainly had our fans throughout history. Alexander the Great couldn't live without us and took us with him on all his conquests; the Crusaders didn't want to leave us behind in the Holy Land so we accompanied them back to Britain; and Christopher Columbus made sure he had plenty of us on board when he set sail on his voyage of discovery – now, how are they for references? OK, you need more convincing – I'll tell you more.
It appears that we originated in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India and from there we've spread around the world. The ancient Greeks and Romans praised our qualities and, in the 2nd century, the Romans referred to us in mosaic floor tiles. We were taken to Spain by the Arabs in the 12th century and to North Africa in the 14th century. Cultivation began in southern European countries about this time.
As I said, Christopher Columbus took us to the West Indies in 1493 and the Portuguese probably introduced us to Brazil about the same time.
Lemon trees from Cape Town, South Africa, were brought to Australia in 1788 on the ships of the First Fleet and were planted within days of the fleet's arrival. They were recorded as taking root quickly and becoming established. We're now grown throughout the world where climatic conditions are suitable.
Fun Ways to Eat and Cook Lemons
Serve lemon wedges with rice dishes, salads, fish, chicken and fritters. A squeeze of lemon juice adds a great pop of flavour.
To get the most juice from us, firmly roll the lemon on your kitchen bench to warm it up a little, then cut the lemon in half and juice it.
Brush your cut apples and avocado with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
To make lemon zest, use a fine grater to grate the skin. Add lemon zest to casseroles, salads and risotto as well as cake mixtures and icing.
To make fresh lemonade, add 3/4 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool. Add 1-1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice. Mix with 3 cups of soda water and serve with lemon slices and ice.
Lemon juice adds a delicious tang to fish and chicken. It’s also great in salad dressings and dips.
Lemon juice and zest is used in lemon tarts, puddings and cakes.
Try some of these delicious lemon recipes from Sydney Markets;