The lemon is a popular citrus fruit with a wide variety of uses in everything from baking to household cleaning.
It’s believed that the very first lemons were grown in northeast India, Burma, and China. Studies have shown that the lemon is, in fact, a hybrid between the citron and the bitter orange.
A 10th-century Arabic document on farming is the first literary document to reference the lemon, and it’s believed that it was distributed widely throughout the Mediterranean during this time.
It wasn’t until the 15th century that Europeans really began to cultivate the lemon. Later, when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds on his 1943 voyage, the fruit was introduced to the Americas.
By the 1800s, lemons were growing in both Florida and California.
The word “lemon” itself is thought to have Middle Eastern origins. It also draws from the French “limon”, and Italian “limone”.
Multitudes Of Lemons
There are several varieties of lemon that can be found throughout the world. The most common include:
- Bonnie Brae, a smooth variety of lemon typically grown in San Diego
- Eureka, a common lemon that is available throughout the year. It’s sometimes referred to as the ‘four seasons’ lemon because of the fact that it grows abundantly year-round. These lemons can sometimes be found with greenish skin and pink insides.
- Femminello St. Teresa, or Sorrento, typically used for making limoncello.
- Yen Ben, a lemon found most commonly in Australia and Asia.
There are many ways to eat lemons, as there are simply so many dishes that include lemon.
Typically, lemons are too sour to be eaten raw, but some people will put sugar on lemons and eat them as a sweet snack.
Limoncello is a popular alcoholic beverage made from lemons and is another way this fruit is consumed. A non-alcoholic drink made with lemons is the ever-popular favorite, lemonade.
A Refreshing After-Dinner Treat
However, one of the best uses for lemons is in sorbet. Though there are several places you can get your hands on some of this sweet treat, there are actually ways you can make it yourself!
A Symbol Of Positivity
Throughout history, lemons have been thought to fight off negative energies, and have even been used to encourage happiness.
Optimism and the lemon go hand in hand, as well as the idea of cleanliness and purity. It makes sense, too – the lemon has several cleansing properties and has an incredibly fresh scent.
Great For Cleaning And More
As noted, the lemon has far more than just edible properties. In fact, lemons and lemon juice are frequently used as a household cleanser, along with vinegar and baking soda.
Lemon can also be used for brightening. In fact, a common hair lightening trick is to leave lemon juice in the strands and sit outside in the sun. The chemicals in the lemon will be activated by the sunlight and may have a lightening effect.
Go Sour To Get Sweet
Though lemons may be quite the sour fruit, their multitude of uses both in the home and in your favorite dishes make it a win for the citrus fruits!