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Meyer Lemon vs. Regular Lemon: What's the Difference?

Meyer lemons can be used in place of regular lemons, but they do have different tastes. When it comes to Meyer lemon vs. regular lemon, here's the difference.

What's a Meyer lemon, and how does it differ from the more common "regular" lemon? Each has its preferred uses. However, not everyone is as familiar with Meyer lemons since they aren't commonly available in supermarkets.

When considering a Meyer lemon vs. a regular lemon, several features speak to their differences—which are the focus of this article.

The difference between Meyer lemons and regular lemons is quite noticeable. We believe that if you've never tasted a Meyer lemon before, what we say here might make you want to run to your local store and see if they're in stock right now.

What's a Regular Lemon?

A regular lemon is the deep yellow fruit you see nearly all the time and in every supermarket or produce stand. Lemons grow anywhere the temperature does not fall below 55°F. Florida is the leading U.S. lemon-producing state.

Regular lemons are somewhat elongated or pointed at the ends, and have a tough, protective skin, with a thick, bitter pith. Lemon is a popular garnish, as well as a popular recipe ingredient. See these delicious Meyer lemon recipes.

What's a Meyer Lemon?

A Meyer Lemon has a slightly different appearance from that of a regular lemon. It's more rounded, has a slightly orange tint, and has a thin, generally edible skin (like a kumquat).

The taste of a Meyer lemon is less acidic than that of a regular lemon, and you might describe it as a cross between a regular lemon and an orange. They too can be used for cooking and baking.

Meyer Lemons will grow in any warm (over 50°F) climate, including indoors in pots. They also require lots of sunlight and just the right amount of water.

How the Two Lemon Species Came to the U.S.

Two lemon species, two stories. Let's find out where and how the regular lemon and the Meyer lemon each found their way to the United States.

Regular Lemons

What we call the regular lemon most likely was first cultivated in the Ancient World. Lemon cultivation moved through Northern Africa and the Middle East into Southern Europe over many centuries.

Their first lemon cultivation in the U.S. started in Florida and California during the late 1800s. Unfortunately, a damaging freeze quashed Florida's lemon industry, and it didn't return until the 1950s. By that point, lemon juice was in high demand.

Meyer Lemons

In 1905, a somewhat eccentric gentleman named Frank Meyer, who worked for the USDA, was sent to China by his employer. His goal was to search for new plant species and introduce them back home.

A couple of years into his mission, he noticed a yellow fruit growing outside a Chinese home. Regardless of being told the fruit was decorative only, Meyer took a cutting and shipped it to Washington.

Despite being told the fruit was decorative only, Meyer took a cutting and shipped it to Washington. Although Meyer's life eventually came to a tragic end, the Meyer lemon came to the U.S. and has since borne his name.

Meyer Lemon vs. Regular Lemon: The Upshot

We hope you've found this article interesting and useful. When it comes to Meyer lemons vs. regular lemons, you now know that Meyer lemons are a less mouth-puckering type of lemon you might want to try (if you haven't already).

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