The Marvelous Meyer Lemon!

Hello again! I’m Grammy, and this is Grammy’s Eats and Treats! My 4 year old granddaughter Nataly says the best thing about going to Grammy’s is the eats and treats! A blog name and idea was born!

I am always fascinated by something going on in the kitchen. Sometimes I am focused on a particular cooking skill, the science of a particular style of baking or cooking, and sometimes…. it is a particular ingredient.

For the last week and a half, I have been in awe of the Meyer lemon. It is this amazing, delicious hybrid of a lemon and a mandarin orange. It is still quite tart, but sweetened enough by the orange that biting into it won’t make you pucker like Fergie. In fact, it’s a whole fruit… you can eat everything but the seeds, much like a kumquat. It isn’t totally interchangeable with regular lemons in that you would have to adjust the amount of sweetener you use. But it is amazingly versatile and delicious, and you can make so many things with them!

There are a few important things to know about your new friend, however. First, they are available from around November to May. Not the sunny summer fruit you may have thought it was. The second thing is they are softer and smaller than regular lemons, with a smoother skin. They go bad quicker, so when you get them you have to use them up quickly.

I had been reading about Meyer lemons a week or so ago, and started looking for recipes. There were so many! As I looked them over I found that they could be used in every category from appetizers and snacks through desserts and other baking. Wow! What a great fruit!

So there I was, walking through the new Publix Grocery that recently opened nearby, and I found bags of Meyer lemons. There were 6 or 7 per bag, and remembering they go bad quickly, I only bought 3 bags!

What to make? What to do? The possibilities were endless, literally. So, I made 5 things right away. Creamy Meyer Lemon Spaghetti, Salmon Fillet Foil Packets in a honey/dijon/Meyer lemon sauce, a tomato-cucumber salad with an olive oil/Meyer lemon dressing, and a Meyer Lemon-Raspberry pound cake with … you guessed it … a Meyer lemon glaze. Whew! You’re thinking that’s way too much lemon at once, right? Well, it wasn’t! Everything was amazing, everyone loved it all, and the lemon orangey flavors, all as different as the recipes I used them in, complimented each other beautifully. Using both the juice and the zest, the flavors, textures, and use of varied other ingredients for each dish was incredible without being overpowering. I kept the seeds and I’m letting them dry, because I’m going to plant them and try to grow my own!

So, stay tuned and tomorrow I will tell you how to make one of these. I just haven’t decided which one yet! Keep your eyes peeled for Meyer lemons in your grocery store. I promise you will be impressed!

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