WHAT IS IT?
Dried, granulated lemon peel is a road-less-traveled preservation method for this world-renowned citrus fruit, more common to use in places where lemons spoil, or needed to be carried into winter months where they are less common. Drying the rind this way brings out the tannins in the peel, which brings a fuller, more toasted flavor, so you’ll want to find creative ways to take advantage of the nuanced flavor shift that the curing process offers.
Dried and granulated, lemon peel takes on a slightly toasted, savory experience than a fresh zest. It is best for dishes, salts, and marinades that can draw on that robust flavor. The slightly more leathery texture and enhancement of the tannins of the granules make it less appealing in desserts, and best for dishes that allow it to rehydrate slightly or completely. It works best in:
Lemon peel is a digestive. It complements garlic in that it reduces gas, and is mildly diuretic.
The origin of the lemon, a hybrid of the sour orange and a citron, is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in Assam, northeast India, northern Burma or China. Today lemon is used all over the world in myriad recipes from every country.
- Flavored butters
- Used in stews and ragoûts during winter months or where fresh lemons do not grow.
- Tuscan seafood sauces use to infuse citrus flavor;
- Add with chile and thyme to infuse oils;
- Accents roasted vegetables, soups and stews;
- Scents quinoa, rice, and other grains;
- Added to teas and herbal infusions;
- Mill with sugar for a topping for muffins or cookies;
- Compound with butter and herbs like sage and rosemary to stuff under chicken skin before roasting.
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Soak in limoncello or vodka overnight. drain, then add to a pasta with shrimp, pancetta, parmesan and peas;
- Make a savory lemon-infused stuffing for a unique fish preparation;
- Excellent in a fish curry as an aromatic, especially when paired with a drop (A DROP) of mustard oil;
- Mill with salt and rosemary for an herb-citrus salt, then sprinkle on to fish;
- Compound with coarse cracked Telilcherry black peppercorns and goat cheese for a cheese plate or charcuterie board;
- Power up a poultry pâté with granulated lemon zest and slices of cornichons;
- Add to my savory shrimp-curry English-style pudding for citrus flair.
There are few more prized fruit for cooking than the lemon. There are many ways that lemons are preserved. Drying and granulizing the rinds for winter dishes and for transportation to places where lemons do not grow is another variation of its use and flavor. Portability aside, the changes in flavor, used well by peoples of the world in hot and cold climates, and out of season, create new flavors from a fruit that is used throughout the globe.
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