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Lemon

A common, versatile citrus fruit; lemon's juice, zest, peel, oil, and flesh all have culinary applications across cuisines.

Lemons are native to central Asia, but spread worldwide with the rise of the Roman empire. Lemon juice is a quick and delicious way to brighten up any dish, and of course it's also the star ingredient in a cold glass of lemonade. Lemons are highly acidic and can be used in chemical reactions in baking. Lemon zest is more subtly flavored than lemon juice and contains the oil in lemon skin that adds an extra layer of savory flavor. The zest stays bright yellow when it's grated off the fruit and makes for a beautiful garnish. Whole lemon peels have a bitter white pith along the inside that makes them nearly inedible raw, but they can be preserved in olive oil then served as a fun textural addition to a number of dishes, including roasted fish, or packed in sugar to be candied. Lemons are a wonderful source of Vitamin C and are antibacterial.

Recipes with Lemon