Knowing the different types of lemons can help you determine the ideal options for you. Read on to learn the common options you can find at your local store.
A lemon isn't just a lemon.
Instead, there are dozens of different types of lemons.
The different types of lemons can be a bit of a mystery to those who aren't in the know.
If you're looking for some of the most common varieties of lemon that are hanging around the grocery store you're in the right place.
Read on and we'll describe four of the most commonly sold lemon types you can find at the store, and tell you what they're best for.
1. Lisbon Lemons
Most often labeled as just plain lemons in grocery stores, Lisbon lemons are one of the varieties which commonly come to mind when you picture a lemon.
They're an acidic variety of the fruit, as opposed to a sweet one, and are commonly found in supermarkets worldwide.
They're one of the smoother varieties of lemon and can be distinguished from Eureka lemons by the presence of a pointed end opposite the stem.
2. Eureka Lemons
Extremely similar to Lisbon lemons in taste and texture, Eureka lemons can be distinguished by having a neck beneath the stem and a rougher texture.
When it comes to culinary uses the two varieties of lemon are pretty much indistinguishable. They have extremely similar profiles in taste and acidity, close enough that few people can tell the difference at all.
If you have the option, however, the thicker skin of Eureka lemons make them a slightly better choice for zest.
3. Meyer Lemons
Meyer lemons are actually a hybrid fruit and not a true lemon. The plant originates from crossbreeding citron and mandarin.
They're one of the few varieties that you'll find labeled separately in a grocery store.
Due to their hybrid origins, Meyer lemons are much further on the sweet side of things than most other varieties of lemon.'
They can be distinguished from common lemons by their smaller size and darker coloration. They tend to hit the shelves in winter and early spring as well since they're one of the best varieties to grow indoors.
They're a fascinating variety, but don't try to substitute them for regular lemons in cooking unless you're sure the different flavor profile will suit the dish better.
4. Bearss Lemons
Similar in appearance to both the Eureka and Lisbon lemons are Bearss lemons. The cultivar originated in Italy but can now be found growing in Florida.
Bearss lemons sometimes hit the shelves, often as another generic variety of "lemon."
While one of the cultivars which appear in stores, the Bearss lemon differentiates itself primarily by its various commercial uses.
The trees carry a larger-than-normal amount of fruit and the peels contain a higher portion of essential oils than Lisbon or Eureka which makes them an attractive choice for those who are looking to capitalize on various refined lemon products.
The Many Types of Lemons
This is just a small sample of the many exotic lemons which can be found if you know where to look. For the most part, these four types of lemons form the bulk of the lemon trade in the US.
With a growing interest in exotic cultivars, however, we may be seeing other varieties on shelves in the near future.
Check out our citrus blog where we regularly provide insight and tips to help your citrus fruit and gardening endeavors.
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