All About the Citron
Citron is a large citrus fruit with a fragrant smell and thick rind.
Description of the Fruit
Experts believe that the citron is native to India, by the Himalaya’s eastern valleys. By the 4th century B.C., the citron was likely cultivated mostly by the Persian Gulf before spreading to the Mediterranean basin.
Changes to the Fruit Over Time
Citron is unique in that it was one of the first citrus fruits. This means that others developed from it throughout history. Development of some of the fruits happened naturally through hybrid speciation. Humans played in a role in some of the other developments via artificial hybridization.
There are numerous physical forms of citrus cultivars around the world, although most are similar genetically. Many types of limes and lemons originated as citrons.
Description of Taste
Citrons are usually oblong or ovate, with narrower ends. The shape is variable, however. The rind is adherent and leathery with a thick, white interior and thin, fragrant exterior. The pulp is acidic but can be sweet. Citrons have dry pulps with just small amounts of juice. The main part of it is its thick white rind.
To eat citron, cut it open to get rid of the pulp. Then cut the rind into thick pieces and cook it. Citron is common in drinks and meals.
Is It Used in Desserts?
Because of its potentially sweet nature and its popular use combined with sugar, many desserts include citron. Cakes and tarts are especially known.
Pop Culture References
There are several references to citrons throughout history. It is mentioned in Leviticus as part of a ritual for the Feast of Tabernacles. Egyptologists have found it shown on walls from about 3,000 years ago. Theophrastus described it during the Greek ages and Pliny the Elder wrote about it in his Natural History.
In addition to being used for food and drinks, citron is popular in traditional medicine. It is also part of religious offerings and rituals. Citron also has applications in perfumes.