‘Tis the season, if you live in California it is citrus season. Everywhere you go someone is giving away oranges and/or lemons. I recently brought a bag of lemons to my Nia class to give to my students. One of my students asked me what kind of lemons they were and I said they were Meyer Lemons. Then she said, “Oh, I thought they (Meyers) had thin skin and tasted less lemony and more citrusy.” We talked a bit more because she had had lemons from my tree before so she was saying that they were not like Meyer Lemons she knew. She said that Meyers tasted more citrusy, like an orange. And I said, that Meyer lemons were a cross between and orange and lemon so that makes sense. She said our lemons didn’t taste like that. So, then I told her I didn’t know what they were. I had always thought they were Meyer lemons, but if she said Meyer lemons were different from these then they were not Meyers. But I did not know. So . . . . I had to come home and look it up. I think our lemons are Eureka Lemons.
Meyer lemons tend to be less acidic and sour, they are sweeter than a regular lemon. Meyer lemons are generally smaller than eureka lemons. They have thin skin and not a large mesocarp or pith. And according to an article on SFGate, the trees are not even classified as true lemon trees. The Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and an orange. Either an orange or a tangerine. They originated in China. According to Wiki, in the mid-1940’s after the lemons were commonly grown in California it was discovered that most of the trees had a virus. Since this virus had been responsible for killing and leaving citrus trees all over the world unable to produce fruit, the trees in the United States were destroyed. A new generation of Meyer lemon trees were release in the 1950’s.
Our lemons have a very thick pith, sometimes about a fourth of an inch. Some of the lemons are really big. Some of them are so large that one of my friends asked me if they were pomellos. I didn’t know what a pomello was so I had to look that up. Not all of the lemons are as large as pomellos and they do not taste sweet nor like grapefruit. Our lemons DO taste pretty lemony, as in they are pretty sour.
Both eureka lemons and Meyer lemons can be used in food and products interchangeable, but with the eureka lemon you will get a more sour taste than with the more sweet flavored Meyer lemon. So you would use them accordingly, depending on what you wanted.
Which is your favorite lemon?