WHAT IS IT?
When you want that lemon taste in recipes like a dry mix, or where the fruit either needs to be added to intensify, or add a hint of taste, or a fragrance, dry usually trumps the fresh, or the juice.
Made from lemon juice that is freeze-dried, at the peak of freshness, then ground, lemon juice powder lends a more intensified version of the taste than the fresh fruit. It’s become the staple of airlines looking to save weight, and cost, on the fresh fruit.
This powder adds a naturally aromatic flair, and either gentle lemon flavor, or tart lemon pop, depending upon its concentration, to a variety of mixes, foods, beverages, and confections. It’s superior to bottled lemon juice in that it needs no added stabilizers that affect taste. It also requires no refrigeration, so it’s best for recipes that have a “room temperature” requirement.
JUICE OR DRIED FRUIT?
The juice powder is best in dishes where the dried peel/rind of a granulated, or dried/sliced lemon might contribute a bittersweet taste.
Freeze dried fruit has a shorter shelf life than other spices. You can watch the color fade as it ages. Order as needed in smaller amounts. Best within three months of delivery, use within six months. You can extend its life by inserting a desiccant pack to the storage container to reduce moisture and keep it fresh a bit longer.
Native to Northern India, the lemon is grown in all over the world, but has major concentrations in Southern Europe, in Italy, and in the United States in Florida, and California.
- Now served in small packets as a tea accompaniment on airlines
- Pies, cakes, and pudding mixes needing lemon flavor
- Fairy Cakes
- Lemon Bread
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Dust sauteed asparagus spears coated with butter for some intense lemon pop;
- Add to tequila, with lime powder, and a bit of agave for a Maxi Margarita with more kick than juice;
- Make a dessert pizza with lemon curd and fresh mozzarella, topped with a lemon powder/sugar sprinkle;
- Add to salt and pepper for real lemon-pepper chicken rub.
The lemon is a hybrid of bitter orange and a citron. Northeast India, possibly Assam, is arguably its point of origin, although historians using carbon-dated evidence suggest that it could have been Northern Burma, or China, as well.
The Romans imported the lemon to Southern Italy around the 2nd century A.D., largely as an ornamental. It was not widely grown. Persia, modern-day Iran, Iraq and Egypt began growing lemons around 700 A.D. It, too, was an ornamental plant in Islamic gardens. Lemons were distributed widely throughout the Mediterranean and North Africa in the 15th century. They began to be cultivated seriously in Europe around the middle of that century, in Genoa.
Christopher Columbus transported lemon seeds to Hispaniola in 1493, and the Conquistadores brought them to Mexico and the Southern shores of the United States as a medical curative.
They became principal staple crops of Florida and California in the 19th century.
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