Meyer lemons are named after Frank N. Meyer, an agricultural explorer who came across them in China and brought them back with him to the US in the early 1900s. Meyer lemons are primarily used for ornamental purposes in China and today, Meyer lemons are grown commercially in California, Texas, and Florida. They are a challenge to ship and store commercially, so you might not find them very far from where they were grown.
Meyer lemons are ready for harvest early in the holiday season from Mid-November. They can be found through January in typical Northeast grocery stores. Meyer lemons are sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons.
They are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, lending it a more rounded shape, darker yellow color, and richer fragrance than other lemons. Meyer lemons are generally smaller than regular lemons, with a spherical shape and a thin peel. They tend to be more of a golden color than a bright yellow.
Lemon is assumed to be an acid food because of citric acid but this is surprisingly wrong. Lemon is actually an alkaline food and including it in your diet can help to settle your stomach and help with the PH levels in your stomach. When PH levels in your stomach are off-balance, you can experience stomach pain and problems with digestion.
Like the other members of the citrus family, lemons contain essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals that may help prevent the development of chronic medical problems. Lemons and lemon peel contain a high concentration of pectin, a type of soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber slows your digestion rate and may suppress your appetite while preventing diabetes by stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
Lemons are particularly rich in the flavanones hesperidin and eriocitrin. Hesperidin may aid in keeping your bones strong and lowering your blood lipid level, while eriocitrin could protect your liver from oxidative damage.
Lemons are a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate. They also have a fair amount of calcium and iron.
Meyer lemons have antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Just like regular lemons, Meyer lemons are packed with vitamin C. This is why consuming them on a regular basis can help make your immune system a lot stronger, which then considerably lowers your risk of suffering from upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold and flu.
The vitamin C in Meyer lemons also helps the body to produce more collagen. A type of protein, collagen keeps your skin firm.
Lemon water promotes weight loss by stimulating digestion in the stomach quicker than regular water. It helps to cleanse the stomach and promotes regular bowel movements, especially if you drink it when you first wake up.
How to Buy
The darkest colored Meyer lemons will have the highest nutrient content. Tree-bearing fruits produce nutrients in reaction to sunlight, and a darker, evenly colored fruit indicates more exposure to sunlight.
Avoid fruits that appear wrinkled or have soft spots. it is a sign that they have begun to turn. Nutrient content and flavor profile of turned fruits won’t be as good.
How to Store
Meyer lemons will keep about a week at room temperature, and longer if kept open in the fridge (a closed bag will produce humidity that expedites molding). Freezing the juice or zest will preserve nutrient content and flavor.
How to Cook
The majority of the phytonutrient content in citrus fruits is stored in the white pith of the peel. When using Meyer lemons for zesting or as part of a dressing, grate some of the pith.
Zesting citrus peels can brighten up the flavor of a sugar cookie or pie crust. Meyer lemons can be preserved whole or grated to create herbed salts. Peels can be candied and eaten whole.
Please use organic products, as citrus is typically preserved in a food-grade wax and organic selections may reduce exposure to unknown preserving products.