What Is a Meyer Lemon?

In Season: Meyer Lemons

Thought to be a cross between a mandarin and a true lemon, Meyer lemons are rounder, smaller, and have a sweeter juice than the standard variety you'll find in the grocery store. This citrus fruit is native to China but eventually made its way to California, and its name comes from Frank N. Meyer, who first discovered this fragrant fruit in 1908. The moist, thin peel makes an incredible zest, which is praised by chefs everywhere.

Because the juice is much sweeter, Meyer lemons make a great cocktail starter. And whatever you do, don't throw away the peels! The zest of the Meyer lemon can be used in everything from vinaigrettes to gremolatas. Sprinkle the zest in pastas, rice, or orzo. Or, use Meyer lemons in place of true lemons in pastries like shortbread or lemon bars. Prepare to love these lemons – and be happy to make lemonade!

Keep reading for a few meyer lemon recipe ideas.

Source: Flickr User clayirving

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