Friday, December 4, 2009

Meyer lemons now in season

Can you see the difference in color? See how much deeper the color of the Meyer lemons (left) is, almost yellow-orange, compared to the Eureka lemons (right)?

Yesterday I was at my friend's house who has a Meyer lemon tree abounding with ripening fruit. The branch pictured below is just one of many that practically has more fruit than leaves - it always amazes me when I see trees producing such a copious amount of fruit.

I was so happy that she shared some with me and that there are plenty more that will ripen over the next 3-4 months... which gives me an excuse to visit her more often.  :-)  Hopefully the weather cooperates - a cold front is coming and if we go into many days in a row freezing temperatures she will likely lose most of her lemons.

I love Meyer lemons - it's honey-like flavor is much sweeter than regular lemons. Really juicy too - you don't need to squeeze very hard and lots of juice comes pouring out. I'm guessing they're not cheap at the supermarket. I know regular lemons can be pricey - that's why I try not to take my own Eureka lemon tree for granted. The Eureka lemon has its place because sometimes you just need that classic sour lemon flavor and Meyer lemons wouldn't work where that's needed.

I learned from Wikipedia that this lemon is... native to China, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. The Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908 as S.P.I. #23028, by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China.

One of the main branches of my friend's Meyer lemon tree.

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