The origin of Lemons is unknown, although they may have originated in Burma or China. Genetic research of lemons show that they are a hybrid of sour orange and citron.
Lemons are high in vitamin C and are thought to have many health benefits.
Look for smooth skinned, firm fruits. Avoid blotchy, mushy, or oversoft fruits.
How much does a lemon weigh?
|Wedge or Slice||1-8 of one 2-1/8″ dia fruit||7g||0.2oz|
Nutritional value per 1 Fruit
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (5%) 1.16
Calories From Protein (10%) 2.06
Calories From Carbohydrates (85%) 18.38
Calories From Alcohol (0%) 0
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.32 <1%
Saturated Fat 0.04 <1%
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1
Trans Fatty Acids 0
Cholesterol 0 0%
Sodium 3.24 <1%
Potassium 156.6 4%
Total Carbohydrates 11.56 4%
Fiber 5.08 20%
Sugar Alcohols 0
Net Carbohydrates 6.48
Protein 1.3 3%
Vitamin A 32.4 <1%
Vitamin C 83.16 139%
Calcium 65.88 7%
Iron 0.76 4%
Vitamin E 0
Vitamin D 0
Thiamin 0.05 4%
Riboflavin 0.04 3%
Niacin 0.22 1%
Vitamin B6 0.12 6%
Vitamin B12 0 0%
Pantothenic Acid 0.25 3%
Vitamin K 0
Phosphorus 16.2 2%
Magnesium 12.96 3%
Zinc 0.11 <1%
Copper 0.28 14%
Water 94.39 0%
What You Need to Know about the Lemon
The lemon (Citrus limon) is a popular fruit belonging to Rutaceae, a family of flowering plants. It may come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, but we are surely after the same thing – its tangy and refreshing sour flavor that beef up our dishes! How much do you know about the lemon? Read this article to know important facts about the lemon, including its popular uses.
There is no clear account regarding the origin of the lemon but clues suggest that it may have originated from northwestern India. Approximately 4000 years ago, people of southeastern China and Southeast Asia have already been cultivating citrus fruits. In around 100 AD, the Arabs traded the lemon in the Middle East and Africa.
By 200 AD, the lemon was introduced to some parts of Europe where it was initially cultivated as an ornamental plant until the 10th century. During the Middle Ages, returning crusaders brought and distributed the lemon throughout Europe, and in the 15th century, Europeans already used the lemon for culinary purposes.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus introduced the lemon to the American continent, where it remained as an ornamental and herbal plant. Physicians discovered that the fruit can be used to treat scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. During the 1800s, California and Florida began cultivating the lemon for culinary use.
Where the Lemon is Grown
The lemon tree grows in tropical and tempered regions of the world. It is not easy to plant this tree because you have to achieve ideal conditions for it to grow and flourish. Growing to a height of at least 4.5 meters, the lemon true produces scented lemons and white blossom year round. Interestingly, the lemon tree can grow for 150 years.
The top three largest producers of lemons around the world are India, Mexico, and China.
The lemon has many varieties. Below are some of them:
- Avalon Lemon. Also known as Avon lemon, this variety came from Florida and is similar to Lisbon lemon. It can be easily found in the supermarket produce section.
- Baboon Lemon. This variety is native to Brazil and is mainly used for preparing different types of sauces such as barbeque and pasta sauce.
- Bear Lemon. This popular variety originated from Italy but it is widely grown in Florida since the 1950s. People choose this variety because of the ample amount of lemon oil that can be extracted from its peels.
- Buddha’s Hand Lemon. Also called Finger Citron in some Asian countries, this fragrant variety has an unusual shape – looking like fingers that grew on a lemon tree! The Chinese offers Buddha’s Hand lemons in their temples and use the fruit as a symbol of happiness and good fortune.
- Bush Lemon. This self-seeding variety is also called rough lemon due to its thick and very rigid rind. Found in the subtropical areas of Australia, bush lemons do not have much juice in them and are mainly used for grafting other lemons.
- Citron Lemon. Just like the Bush lemon, this variety hardly produces juice but every part of this fruit is useful. It grows in India at the foot of the Himalayas mountain ranges.
- Dorshapo Lemon. Another popular variety native to Brazil, this variety has a sweet flavor and is not acidic. It was named after the three explorers who grew it, namely Dorsett, Shamel, and Popenoe.
- Eureka Lemon. This variety is grown all over the world, except Italy and Spain. It is distinct from other lemon varieties such as the Lisbon lemon because of the nipple at its tip.
- Femminello St. Teresa Lemon. This medium-sized variety is native to and popular only in Italy. It has a thick skin and sour, acidic flavor.
- Fino Citron Lemon. This variety is close to the Verna lemon but is smaller in size and contains less juice. Its tree is thorny and its fruits – which contains high amount of seeds – are acidic in taste.
- Greek Citron Lemon. This variety, which came from the Ionian Islands, is famous for its use in many rituals. It is also known as Corfu Etrog.
- Interdonato Lemon. Largely found in Sicily, Italy, this large variety has a smooth skin and seedless flesh. Having very little to no juice at all, the popular Interdonato lemon has a mildly bitter flavor.
- Kagzi Lime. This variety is popular in India due to its nutritional and medicinal use. It is bigger in size compared to other limes.
- Lisbon Lemon. This variety as a very acidic taste and also a nipple at its tip. Its tree has many thorns and is harvested twice a year.
- Meyer Lemon. Bred from the citron and mandarin orange, this variety has a smooth golden skin and sweet taste good for desserts and salads. It is grown in California, Texas, and Florida.
- Organic Lemon. This variety is grown without using chemicals or pesticides which makes the use of its rinds, peelings, and juices safe.
- Ponderosa Lemon. Discovered in Maryland in the late 1800s, this variety resembles the Bush lemon due to its thick and rigid skin.
- Primofiori Lemon. Popular for its soft and thin peel, this acidic variety originated in Spain and contains a lot of juice. Its name means “first flowers” because the fruit ripens first during harvest seasons.
- Sweet Lemon. This is one of the two general kinds of lemons – the other is acidic lemon. It has a sweet taste and contains no acidity in them. It is found in India and in the Mediterranean, and is also called limetta lemon.
- Verna Lemon. This variety is close to the Eureka variety and has a thick skin, few seeds, and plenty of juice in them. The tree produces fruits two to three times a year.
- Villafranca Lemon. This is a sub-variant of the Eureka lemon with lower acidity. Its tree only produces fruit during cool climates.
- Volkamer Lemon. Volkamer lemon is native to Italy and is bred from a lemon and sour orange. It is round in shape and has a low acidic content.
- Yen Ben Lemon. This variety is popular for its juiciness. It has a thin and smooth skin.
The lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, but it also contains potassium and folic acid. According to the USDA Food Composition Databases, 1/2 cup of raw and peeled lemon contains:
- Calories: 29
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Carbs: 9.3 grams
- Sugar: 2.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
Popular Uses of the Lemon
The lemon is widely used to add flavor to recipes, but there are other uses for the fruit which makes it even more popular. Below are some of the common uses of the lemon.
- Soothing a sore throat. Gargling with lemon can soothe a sore throat.
- Delaying fruit oxidation. Lemon juice can be rubbed on the cut surfaces of low-acid fruits like apples and bananas to delay their oxidation or darkening.
- Shining Hair. Lemon juice can also be applied to your hair after shampooing to make it shine.
- Cleaning Utensils. Discolored utensils can be cleaned using lemon juice.
- Removing Odor. Rubbing lemon on your hands can remove fish or onion odor.
- Removing Rust. A mixture of lemon juice and salt can be used to remove rust.