Wednesday, 3 April 2013


So much of a lemon often gets discarded: the pips, rightly; the skins, which is often a waste (see Lemon pickle (2)); but most often the part that does not have a name. I will call it the residue. Imagine chopping the lemon or juicing it. On the chopping board or still in the juiced lemon is a mixture of flesh and juice, of solid and liquid. The point is that there is nothing inedible about it. Both the flavour and texture are good. Just for stirring into a mayonnaise or a curry, say.

Are there any other fruits or even vegetables that have so many different parts from the cook's perspective: zest, peel, juice and flesh. Compare other staples: onions, garlic, carrots, celery. All essential ingredients but in each case only one part that can be eaten: I might be prepared to accept that celery has a couple of other parts beside the flesh with culinary value: the leaves and the seeds.

The lemon is one of my eight desert island foods. Its ability to cut through richness, to alter flavour, to destroy blandness makes it a crucial thing to have around. Then there's always lemon pickle...

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