Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Meyer Lemons

When life gives you lemons.... break out the tequila and salt.

Not what you were expecting?  I found some Meyer lemons in the grocery store and had to try them.  Now, we don't get a lot of "fancy" produce here in NH.  After all, tomatoes come in two varieties, green or canned.  So, when a store tries to incorporate an exotic item, I jump at the chance to learn about them.
(In all fairness, the local grocery stores have been doing a decent job of stocking unusual foods.)
Meyer lemons are not your traditional lemon.  They are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, with tender skin and an edible rind.  They are juicy, with little tartness but can be used in place or '"regular" lemons.
In the early 1900's, the US Dept of Agriculture sent Frank Meyer to Asia.  His mission was to collect new plant species.  He was prolific and brought back over 2,500 "new" to the US species of plants.  The Meyer lemon was one of his successful souvenirs.  Now, they are cultivated in the usual citrus growing regions of the United States.  Due to their delicate nature, they didn't travel well, so they didn't become popular across the nation.
In the 1960's, the California crop was destroyed due to a virus - which also threatened the entire citrus industry.  One source survived and became part of the Improved Meyer Lemon.
More recently, the popularity of Meyer lemons has been attributed to Martha Stewart who publicizes recipes using the much loved lemon.

The Meyer lemon season is from November to April.

One recipe that I am going to try - Meyer Lemon Crostini Topping

2 Meyer Lemons, sliced
3 T olive oil
1 tsp rosemary
6 -8 whole shallots (cut in half if large)

Quarter the slices of lemon.  Combine all ingredients and roast at 400 for 15 minutes.  Serve on top of grilled bread.

1 comment:

SOFIA said...

how did your crostini come out? I wish I could try these meyer babies!