Lemons

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Two lemons

Lemons are used to make lemonade, and as a garnish for drinks. Iced tea, soft drinks and water are often served with a wedge or slice of lemon in the glass or on the rim. The average lemon contains approximately 3 tablespoons of juice. Allowing lemons to come to room temperature before squeezing (or heating briefly in a microwave) makes the juice easier to extract. Lemons left unrefrigerated for long periods of time are susceptible to mould.

Fish are marinated in lemon juice to neutralise the odour. The acid neutralises the amines in fish by converting them into nonvolatile ammonium salts.

Lemon juice, alone or in combination with other ingredients, is used to marinate meat before cooking: the citric acid provided by the juice partially hydrolysing the tough collagen fibres in the meat (tenderising the meat), though the juice does not have any antibiotic effects.

Lemons, alone or with oranges, are used to make marmalade. Spicy pickled lemons are a Moroccan delicacy. A liqueur called limoncello is made from lemons.

The grated rind of the lemon, called lemon zest, is used to add flavour to baked goods, puddings, rice and other dishes. The zest is the thin layer on the very surface of the lemon that contains the essential oils. The peel is the rind of the lemon, including the white pith that, when raw, imparts a bitter flavour.

When lemon juice is sprinkled on certain foods that tend to oxidise and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados, the acid acts as a short term preservative by denaturing the enzymes that cause browning and degradation.

Removing the wax coating from lemons

non organic citrus fruit is coated with a thin layer of wax (either petroleum based or natural), which prevents water loss and therefore extends the shelf life. Wax is also used for aesthetic reasons. Apparently, as consumers, we demand shiny fruit. Organic fruit is not waxed as that would not be permitted under organic standards.

Here are a couple of methods that you can use to remove wax from lemons:

Boiling water
  • Place fruit in a colander
  • Boil a kettle & leave to cool for 5 minutes
  • Pour over the fruit
  • Using gloves to protect your hands from the heat, scrub the fruit with a small brush
  • Rinse with cold water and wipe dry with paper towels
Microwave
  • Microwave fruit for 10 seconds
  • Using gloves to protect your hands from the heat, scrub the fruit with a small brush
  • Rinse with cold water and wipe dry with paper towels

Alternatives

Other citrus fruits could be used in place of lemons; limes, grapefruit or oranges. In some instances, a white wine vinegar could be used instead. A bottle of lemon juice in the fridge is a good standby.

How much does one cup of Lemon flesh weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Lemon flesh segments/large pieces/ flesh only
1
225 grams 8 ounces

Conversion notes:
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.

Seasonal Information: Lemons

This information is specifically for countries in the northern temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere; particularly the United Kingdom, however it should be applicable for northern USA, northern Europe, Canada, Russia, etc.

Lemons are at their best and in season during the following months: January, February & March.

We also have a generic conversion table and a portions per person lookup.

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