The Meyer Lemon is originally from China and considered to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange. The fruit is very tender, extremely juicy, and its peel is much thinner than a regular lemon. The higher sugar content lends to the unique, rich flavor.
The Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908 by agricultural explorer Frank Meyer. By the mid 1940?s it had become the most prolific garden tree in the Mediterranean climates of America. Unfortunately by the 1950?s a deadly tree virus decimated almost all of the Meyer lemon trees in the United States. Most nurseries stopped propagating the tree. A gentleman by the name of Floyd Dillon submitted his rootstock to the California Department of Agriculture. After much testing, it was determined that Mr. Dillon's rootstock was not susceptible to the virus. His bud wood became the basis for all the new Sweet Meyer Lemons found in the United States.
The Sweet Meyer Lemon when allowed to grow to its true maturity of a nearly red orange tone provides a unique lemon/tangerine flavor. Chefs embrace the Meyer for its robust flavor that brightens any recipe.
The Meyer lemon season varies for each growing region. Meyer lemons are available year round in the Northern and Southern California region; and from November to March in all other citrus growing regions.
Author: Scott Meyers
Lemon balm’s history dates back over 2,000 years. The scientific name of this herb “Melissa officinalis” reveals much of its history. It is thought that bees and lemon balm have been inextricably linked since ancient times. The scientific name Melissa is derived from the Greek term for “honey bee.” Moreover, many herbalists agree that lemon balm has much of the same healing and tonic properties that royal jelly and honey have. Lemon balm has traditionally been honored as an herb with the facility to lend rejuvenation. During the Middle Ages, lemon balm was a key ingredient in all medieval elixirs of youth. Even as late as the 18th century, lemon balm continued to maintain its reputation as an “elixir of youth.”
Sorbet is a light, fat-free dessert that is a great alternative to ice cream. Sorbet is easy to prepare and you don’t have to be a celebrity chef to make it. The Meyer lemon creates a smoother, richer lemon sorbet. Here is an easy Meyer lemon sorbet recipe for all to enjoy.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (8-10 Meyer lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, remove from the heat, and cool. Combine the syrup with the lemon and zest and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After the sorbet is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve.
If you do not have an ice cream maker, freeze the sorbet in a tall canister. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours. Remove and stir with a whisk. Return to the freezer and stir about once every hour for about 4 hours. The more times you stir, the more air will be included, resulting in a lighter sorbet.