Lemons are citrus fruit
from the tree Citrus limon. They are cultivated
primarily for their juice,
though the pulp and rind are also used, primarily in
cooking or mixology.
Lemon juice is about 5% citric acid, which gives lemons a
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Lemons were not cultivated in the West until after the
Arab conquests. They were cultivated in Genoa in the
mid-fifteenth century, and appeared in the Azores in 1494.
Lemons were once used by the British navy to combat
scurvy, as they provided a large amount of vitamin C. The
British navy originally thought lemons were overripe limes
which they resemble and their sailors became known as
limeys, not lemony.
Both lemons and limes
are regularly served as lemonade
(natural lemon with water
its equivalent, or as a garnish for drinks such as cola
with a slice either inside or on the rim of the glass.
Lemon juice is typically dripped onto battered fish
dishes in restaurants in the United
Kingdom and other countries—the acidic juice
neutralizes the taste of amines in fish. Some like to eat
lemons as fruit.
Lemon juice contains approximately 500 milligrams of
C and 50 grams of citric
acid per liter.
Lemon rind, when used as an ingredient, refers
to shavings of the thin yellow outer skin of the lemon.
The rind contains strong smelling oils which are used to
flavor many baked goods. One can remove the rind from a
lemon by using a small-holed grater,
or by carefully cutting the rind with a knife then mincing
the results. Ideally, none of the white pith should be
included with the rind.