The Meyer Lemon is a citrus fruit native to China. It is thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. In 1908, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent Frank Meyer, an agricultural explorer, to Asia to collect new plant species. This particular find was named in his honor.
By the mid-1940s, the Meyer lemon had become widely grown in California. It was about that time it was discovered to carry a citrus virus, and most of the Meyer lemon trees in the United States were destroyed to save other citrus trees. A virus-free selection was released in 1975, and the Meyer lemon began to be cultivated again.
- Brush cakes or cupcakes with it for extra flavor and moistness.
- Add a boost of flavor to homemade lemonade
- Delicious in tea
- Use to flavor and sweeten cocktails (such as Meyer Lemon Margaritas!)
- Drizzle lightly onto a fresh fruit salad
- Add a sweet citrus layer of flavor to a marinade for fish or chicken
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (colored layer of skin only) from two Meyer lemons in large strips. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the zest, sugar, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil , then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Strain out and discard the zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Keeps for several weeks.