Buddha’s hand and a luxury commodity
The fascinating world of lemons
Yellow, juicy and usually sour – perfect for adding a splash of flavour while cooking, as an ingredient in a drink or a delicious finishing touch to a meal. It’s fair to say lemons have long since won a place in our cuisine and are now a part of everyday life. The yellow fruit fascinates not just with its vivid colour, but also with its wonderful aroma. Botanically speaking, they are part of the varied citrus family, which also includes oranges, mandarins and grapefruit. Surprisingly, citrus fruits are actually berries, and their shrub-like trees can live for 100 years if given an ideal position.
Their origins can be traced back to Asia. Citrons were grown in Egypt as far back as the 2nd century BC, and Alexander the Great is said to have brought them to the Mediterranean. From there, the lemons began their triumphal march towards Europe and were valued for their healing powers as early as the Middle Ages. Seafarers consumed them to prevent scurvy, a deficiency of vitamin C, and were therefore able to survive long sea journeys. Today, more than 1,600 varieties of citrus are known worldwide.
What’s more, what the Germans call a “Zitrone” is actually a lemon (Citrus limon). Limon is derived from the Arabic word “laimun”. The citron, on the other hand, refers to the actual citrus fruit that has had a culture-shaping influence for thousands of years and is sought after for its wonderful peel, fragrance and aroma. It is used to make candied lemon peel, among other things.
Read more in the blog: Specialties and curiosities