What's the Big Deal About Meyer Lemons?

7 years ago

"I have a friend who doesn't think much of Meyer lemons. He doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. For this I'm going to forgive him. It doesn't matter that he has a James Beard Award; we all have our blind spots. I personally don't understand how anyone could ever like liver, and I don't understand how anyone could not appreciate the sweet-tart flavor with mysterious, floral subnotes of a Meyer lemon." ~ So writes Tea Austen from the food blog Tea & Cookies.

And unless you live in California, where Meyer lemons seem to, you know, grow on trees like we all wish money did, you might be a lot like Tea's friend and not get what Meyer lemons are all about.

I don't. I've bought some, sure. I've even cooked with Meyer lemons. But I live in the middle of the country, so only know about long-distance lemons, not ones harvested in the back yard with a 30-second trip to the kitchen. I've never wanted to live in California, but girl, oh girl, listen to these words and you might just find yourself, like me, wishing for a Meyer lemon tree or a generous neighbor with a Meyer lemon tree or heck, even a basket of just-plucked Meyer lemons from the farmers market.

"These are the moments when I wish someone had invented scratch-n-sniff internet. I wish I could convey to you the tangy sweet smell of fresh Meyer lemon." ~ Tea Austen from Tea & Cookies

"If you like the tang of lemons, but not the pucker, Meyer lemons are for you. They are not nearly as tart as conventional lemons, and their peel is slightly sweet. Like a regular lemon perfected, the color and juice are amped up and the peel is thinned down." ~ Amy Sherman from Cooking with Amy

"When life ... gives you Meyer lemons, the fun is deciding what to do with them." ~ Sam Breach from Becks & Posh

"It's citrus season, and the Meyer lemons are plentiful, not to mention gorgeous. Unlike their more common counterpart, the Eureka, the Meyer variety are thin-skinned, much less tart, and very delicious eaten raw like a clementine. They're smooth and sunny, and so very fragrant. Smelling almost rosemary-like, these small gems are something you definitely want to take advantage of while you can (be it just to brighten up these dreary days)." ~ Hayley from Buff Chickpea

"It's also a love story. You see, I've fallen head over heels for the star ingredient in this cheesecake. That's right, I am truly enamored with the meyer lemon." ~ Kristen from The Kitchen Sink Recipes

"[Daughter] Amaya loves her lemons. The first time we watched her grab one and sink her teeth into it we were slightly horrified. 'This can't be be good' was the immediate thought that flashed through my brain. Amaya wrinkled her nose and shivered as she chewed on her piece of skin, then she gave us a big smile, spit out her bite, and promptly sank her teeth back into the fruit for more. Such is the power of a Meyer lemon." ~ Aki & Alex from Ideas in Food

Eating a lemon, raw? Aii, these little lemon globes must be sweet puppies! I just can't imagine! But what I can completely imagine -- don't mind the drool -- is baking with Meyer lemons.

White on Rice Couple ~ Meyer Lemon Bars
"Meyer lemon bars are one of our favorite uses for these delectable gems. We prefer to blind bake the crust then fill it with the still warm curd."

Table Talk ~ Meyer Lemon Dust
"The result? An intense concentration of Meyer lemon flavor packed into powdery crystals."

Lindy's Toast ~ Meyer Lemon Tea Cake
"Each home cook develops a repetoire of dishes which can be made more or less with eyes shut. These recipes don't let us down. ... This is a variant of the first cake ever to find a place in my long term cooking cycle."

Cook and Eat ~ Spice Crepes with Meyer Lemon Applesauce
"A bit of Meyer lemon adds a lovely sweet tartness and keeps the apples from being cloying. I love these served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a bit of lemon served on the side which also helps bring out the citrus in both the crepes and the filling."

Bron Marshall ~ Meyer Lemon Kisses
"I love to share kisses with my sweetheart and he has a special affection for anything related to sponge cake, citrus and especially Meyer lemons, so these particular kisses are always a great hit with J."

Simply Recipes ~ Meyer Lemon Sorbet
"Making lemon sorbet is like making lemonade with a detour through the ice cream maker. Easy."

Okay, to satisfy my inner food police, Meyer lemons aren't just for baking. You can cook with them too. Salads and stuff. Eat a salad and then you can have another cookie.

The Kitchn ~ Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds & Goat Cheese
"We are having a little fling with Meyer lemons. ... [with a] grain salad that could be a side dish, main dish, lunch or dinner. It has all that herbal fragrance of Meyer lemons, along with the spring freshness of crisp asparagus spears, hearty grains, and a bit of cheese smeared through to hold it all together. Oh, and toasted almonds for crunch, too."

You see? Meyer lemons are these lovely little orbs that people just go on and on about. These four posts must have 200 or more ideas about what to do with Meyer lemons.

Buff Chickpea ~ Seasonal Eating

Cooking with Amy ~ All About Meyer Lemons

Becks & Posh ~ Recipes for Meyer Lemons

LA Times ~ 100 Things to Do with Meyer Lemons

And you?
And you, what's your favorite thing about Meyer lemons? Leave a recipe or a link to a recipe in the comments!

BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg is salivating over the idea of her little-girl favorite dish Lemon Pudding Cake with Meyer lemons. Maybe then, then, she'd get Meyer lemons.

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