Lemon has dignity, style and can socialize with everyone and everything.
It has many dimensions – aesthetic, sensuous, painterly, cultural and historical. It is used to entrees and desserts, soaps, detergents, cosmetics of various kinds, drinks and juices, such as medicine and means of healing, this fruit has the wonderful ability to turn everything to the best. It emphazises the surroundings good qualities and makes us forget what we want. Oysters, foie gras and Russian caviar, the finest of delicacies should be served with lemon. It is exclusive yet unpretentious and humble. Lemon has stimulated not only our taste buds but also writers, artists, performers and kitchen equilibrist. There are chefs who compare the lemon to salt, you do not want to be without it.
The lemon is a godsend to us humans and originates probably from the Himalayan valleys. Citrus family called Rutaceae and most species, with few exceptions, comes from the Himalayan eastern and southern slopes. It is one of our oldest cultivated plants. Species are frivolous and crosses wildly with each other and are therefore difficult to systematize. Of the six types, three are usually called genuine citrus trees, namely Fontanella, Poncirus and Citrus.
The fruits are large, yellow, orange or green berries with a shell in two layers. The outer layer (flavedon) is leathery and contains large amounts of essential (volatile) oils. The inner layer (albedo) is white, more porous than flavedon and rich in pectin, * glycosides and vitamin C. The juice rich pulp contains vitamins, various fruit acids and minerals. The leaves are shiny, green and always contains an aromatic oil.
They perhaps still exist in some parts of the Himalayas, nobody knows for sure. The Indians were the first to cultivate lemons, probably back in the early 4000’s BC., And the Chinese perhaps 500 BC. or 1000 AD. In southern Europe it is known that they were cultivated by the crusaders in the 1200s, it is possible that the Arabs brought them to Sicily even earlier and that the Romans learned to cultivate those precious garden plants.
Many scholars today believe that the lemon is not a pure species, but mixed with the Cedrat (Citrus medica), lime, and perhaps still other species. Lemon trees bloom more or less continuously, and carry fruit in various stages of maturation. Just as there are different kinds of apples, there are different kinds of lemons, which can be very different from each other. In Turkey, the most common “Lamas” and it produces one harvest a year as does the Cypriot “Lapithkiotiki”. “Feminello” from Italy can, however, give four seasonal varieties per year. 1) “Primofiori” from sept. to November, 2) “Limoni” from December to May 3) “Bianchetti” from April to June 4) “verdelli” from June to September. We as customers do not want green lemons, so you can treat them with ethylene gas during a week, which makes them yellow. This should not be dangerous according to the EU. But I do not know if it is done everywhere.
The people of India were the first to cultivate lemons. How they did it is not very well known. Perhaps a Roman legionnaire, a wealthy businessman or a crusader saw the beautiful fruit and brought it home. The lemon is a civilization fruit that helped make us a cultured people. It was during the early 1500s to late 1700s that the lemon spread and became known in Europe. In the 1800s it became common knowledge.
* Glycoside: A sugar moiety plus another chemical substance