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December 11, 2014

Experts' Experts: How to choose the juiciest lemons

Finally, something of practical value.

Who hasn't stood in front of a display of hundreds of lemons, wondering which one is best?

Full disclosure: me.

But I'm not you, and so here's Cook's Illustrated advice on how to identify the choicest specimens.

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Choosing the Juiciest Lemons

Most lemons at the supermarket come in just two varieties. Lisbon lemons [below]

F_lisbon_big-300x264-1

are often characterized by slightly smoother skin, a rounder shape, and a flatter stem end, while Eureka lemons [below]

F_eurekalemon_big-300x225

are frequently distinguised by a more elliptical shape and knobs at both ends. No matter the variety, the most important trait to look for is fruit that gives under pressure, which indicates a thin skin and pith. We found that thin-skinned specimens yielded an average of 8% more of their weight in juice (or about 2-1/2 teaspoons per medium lemon) than those that felt rock hard. Green skin is also not a problem. In our tests, as long as they were thin-skinnned, lemons with a greenish cast had as much juice as their more uniformly yellow counterparts, and they did not taste more tart.

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The less ubiquitous Meyer lemon is described here.

Meyer-and-regular-lemons

December 11, 2014 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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