Meyer Lemons seem to be the darlings of the citrus department. Domestic (U.S.A.-grown) Meyer Lemons are not in season during the late summer, so we bring them in by boat from New Zealand. Even though they are far from “locally grown” at the moment, we are still seeing an incredible demand for these beautiful golden-skinned fruits. (From January through June, Meyer Lemons are grown in California.)
Meyer Lemons are actually a cross between a traditional lemon and a mandarin (or a common orange). Native to China, Meyer Lemons were introduced to the United States in 1908 by an agricultural explorer from the U.S.D.A., Frank Meyer.
The outside skin is kind of delicate, so Meyers must be handled more gently than regular, thick-skinned lemons. We recommend keeping Meyer Lemons in your refrigerator for this reason.
But what makes them so special and in demand by professional chefs and home cooks, is their less-acidic, almost sweet taste. As the story goes, once you’ve tried the Meyer Lemon in cakes, sauces, pies and in lemonade, they will become your preferred lemon.
I was inspired to write about Meyer Lemons from a recent consumer email we received:
After requesting the Clinton, New Jersey Shoprite Supermarket to carry the lemons, they have arrived. I love the Meyer Lemons and would appreciate your sending me the free recipes mentioned on the label.
This is typical of the dialogue we have had with shoppers since we started Frieda’s Inc. 1962. A shopper looks for a fresh produce item at their supermarket and cannot find it, so they reach out to Frieda’s. Ever since we started putting our name and address and an invitation to write to us on our packaging, consumers have written to us asking us to help them out. And here is what we do:
If you write to us looking for a product and give us the names of the stores you shop at, we will actually contact those stores and ask them to stock the product for you! And usually it works. Most supermarket buyers understand the “lifetime value” of a shopper and don’t want to lose one over a missed sale. So they will order the product.
Is there a special fruit or vegetable that you wish you could find in your local store? Email us here and tell us the name of the produce item and the 2 or 3 markets you shop at (and your city, of course).
And, next time you are shopping for lemons, try the Meyer Lemon. You will be delighted!