Lemons (Citrus × limon) are a fruit in the citrus family. They are believed to have originated in the region of India, Burma, and China. Today they are grown worldwide in tropical and subtropical areas. The fruit’s juice and zest is used for both culinary ingredient, preservative, and as a cleaning agent. The juice of the lemon is about 5-6% citric acid. Lemon juice is therefore useful as a short-term preservative on foods that oxidize and turn brown such as apples, bananas, avocados etc by denaturing certain enzymes. The juice and zest is also commonly used as a flavoring in beverages, baked goods, fish and meat marinades etc.
Tips for squeezing the most juice from citrus:
- Use a reamer or other citrus juicer
- Rolling the fruit on the counter helps burst some of the individual segments
- If the fruit has been in the fridge, putting the fruit for 20-30 seconds in the microwave on high helps the juice flow more easily. Let it cool for a minute before juicing.
- Cutting the fruit lengthwise instead of crosswise makes the fruit easier to grip and squeeze by hand
Tips for zesting citrus:
- Wash the fruit before zesting then peel only the outside colored part of the peel (the white part is more bitter)
- For strips/ ribbons use a micro-plane zester
- For larger strips use a peeler or knife
- For very fine pieces use a grater
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