Sunday, April 1, 2007

Windjammer Food Section

On discovering Meyer Lemons (one of my favorites).....
From J & E Riggin Newsletter

"In the middle of the summer, on an evening stroll through the garden, you can be almost overwhelmed by the fresh, floral and herbal scents that drift around you on a gentle breeze. In the late winter however, (which is what we’ve still got here in Maine), while we are still waiting for the first green shoots of crocus, fresh scents are harder to come by and when they are found, become such a delight. I found Meyer lemons at our local grocery store this winter and decided to see what all the fuss was about. I’d been hearing and reading about them for years, but had never used them in a recipe of my own. What a treat! Meyer lemons are more fragrant and sweeter than their counterpart. And did I say “fragrant?” Their scent is really lovely and their skin is thin and bright yellow.

I experimented quite a bit with lemon sorbet, lemonade, lemon tarts and interestingly enough, preserved Meyer lemons. A common ingredient in Mediterranean food, especially Moroccan, they pair well with fish or chicken dishes. I especially like them paired with olives. The process of preserving the lemons takes about 10 days, and is relatively painless. They are wonderful – salty, pungent and milder than when they are fresh. They’ll change color to a more orangey hue and become a little plump, softening over time. I did experiment with regular lemons as well and while they do work and their flavor is interesting and unique, I much prefer the Meyer lemons in this case. Preserving them in this way captures a Meyer lemon’s amazing perfume. They are salty so most of the recipes call for little or no added salt."

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