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Lemons & Limes: Sweet Enough to Eat?

Meyer LemonThe words “lemon” or “lime” may inspire a bitter or sour image, but you may be surprised to find out this isn’t always true. The Meyer Lemon and Sweet Lime offer a unique twist on the conventional tartness and acidic flavors of the everyday lemon due to their naturally sweet taste. They offer great versatility in the kitchen, and have amazing health and nutritional benefits.

The Meyer Lemon’s origins can be traced back to China, where it is believed to be a hybrid mix of a Mandarin orange and lemon. From this combination, evolved a rounder, sweeter, and juicier lemon as it contains a thin outer layer of skin. In China, the Meyer Lemon was originally admired for its aesthetics as a houseplant due to its beautiful round shape and bright canary yellow hue. However, the Meyer Lemon found a new home and purpose in the United States in 1908 by Frank Meyer, (hence the name …), an agricultural explorer who discovered the fruit while collecting plant samples for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beijing. The history of the Sweet Lime is believed to originate from India, and is commonly thought to be a cross between a Mexican-type lime and sweet lemon. Compared to your ordinary lime, as the Sweet Lime matures, a more yellowish-green color brightens the thin-skinned rind. The lime contains less acidity, thus producing a sweeter citrusy essence. Americans had their first taste of the Sweet Lime as they were imported into the United States from Saharanpur, India, in 1904. After Americans were first introduced to the Meyer Lemon and Sweet Lime as amazing cooking companions, they also became a very valuable ally to improving personal health and wellness.

However, if you find yourself suffering from a vicious cold or even the flu, a quick home remedy includes adding the juice from a Meyer Lemon to hot water or tea with honey, which can assist in preventing dehydration, soothing a dry cough, and loosening congestion. In India, the Sweet Lime is medicinally used to treat fevers and jaundice, as in folk remedies, it has been known to reduce and cool your body temperature. Most importantly, the significantly high vitamin C content found in both citruses can be favorable to your health. Vitamin C allows for growth and repair of tissues within the body, since it aids in producing the protein collagen, which in turn strengthens your skin, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. The natural antioxidants and diuretics of citrus can help reduce any swelling or inflammation in your body, and help clear your system of any unnecessary and damaging bacteria.

Besides the incredible heath benefits of these fruits, they also are a great resource to try various cooking methods in the kitchen. The Meyer Lemon allows for imaginative recipes, whether you want to create an artisan pizza with goat cheese, rosemary and olives, create a basic compote, or simply add the zest to your favorite dessert recipe. The Sweet Lime can be a great addition to a citrus-based sauce for poultry or fish, tossed in a salad, or enjoyed purely as a key ingredient for limeade. Interestingly enough, the Meyer Lemon and Sweet Lime can also be eaten in their entirety — a definite way to absorb all the nutrients found in both fruits. But if that’s too much for you, just start simple by using the juice from these citrus wonders, such as in a salad dressing like this recipe.

Meyer Lemon Dressing

  1. Using a fork, crush garlic and sea salt together in a small bowl until the mixture is soft and moist, with large chunks of garlic.
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while mixing briskly with a fork.
  3. Add the pepper and continue to mix.
  4. Using a whisk, blend in lemon juice to create a light and smooth dressing.
  5. Strain the dressing while disposing of the large garlic pieces, and adjust the seasonings to your preference.

 TELL US: How do you cook with Meyer Lemons and Sweet Limes?

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