Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
mzrb

Life is Not Giving Me Unwaxed Lemons

Recommended Posts

I have tried the usual sources (whole foods, etc.) for unwaxed lemons, but to no avail. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good north jersey source for unwaxed lemons? i am trying to make limoncello, and while with much scrubbing could undoubtedly use waxed ones (sigh), i'd like to see if anyone has any suggestions.

I promise you a fresh cold glass of limoncello if your suggestion pans out!

java script:emoticon(':biggrin:')

thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh, it never would have even occured to me to look for such a thing. I make limoncello every year with regular lemons from the grocery store, which I rinse in very hot water and then just go ahead and use. Do you think it would make an appreciable difference? I might have to start hunting.


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a gas stove, you can just burn the wax over the flame. Takes a few seconds and it will release all the aroma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a purpose for the wax beyond making them look shiny at the store?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course the wax is to help them be more 'shelf stable'- (it seems like everything evil they do to our food is just to make it sit longer at the store)- I believe it helps hold the moisture in.

When I want to use the lemons (whole or peel) I bring a saucepan of water up to, but not, boiling - and bathe the lemons - (I use organic whenever I want the peel) -a couple/3 at a time till they lose most of the wax. Then rub them off well with a towel. I am always surprised by how long I have to keep them in the water. It is a bit of a dance, enough so the wax melts off yet I don't want them to cook at all. Afterwards I usually toss them into the fridge or an ice bath might be good if they don't soak long.

I just wanted to add that I did this bathing ritual to a whole 3 lb bag of organic lemons one time and they got brown and rotted much more quickly in the fridge. Only do this as you use them.


Edited by maurdel (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OH - I would also love to know how to make limoncello?

Is it somewhere else on the site or can you describe the process here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Click on THIS LIMONCELLO SEARCH

thanks dockhl

I had a look- it is kind of disappointingly simple: zest, vodka, time, plus sugar syrup.

Guess that means I will have to try it.

It should be more complicated so we would feel more special. :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

put your lemons in a pot and then pour boiling waer over them and let them just set a few min before rincing them off with warm water

this not only seems to get the wax off but when you use the rind the oils release very easily


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing a little digging around the internet. Here's a couple of links.

It seems after harvesting lemons are still alive and continue to 'breathe' and lose water through their skin. The added wax coating prolongs the life of the fruit by slowing these processes.

This page shows fresh produce continues to lose water after harvest, but unlike the growing plant it can no longer replace lost water from the soil and so must use up its water content remaining at harvest. This loss of water from fresh produce after harvest is a serious problem, causing shrinkage and loss of weight.

When the harvested produce loses 5 or 10 percent of its fresh weight, it begins to wilt and soon becomes unusable. To extend the usable life of produce, its rate of water loss must be as low as possible.

The Produce Marketing Agency has information on its' site about the wax coatings. According to them each piece of waxed produce only has a drop or two of wax (I wonder how big a drop is?). The site also proclaims extensive research by governmental and scientific authorities has shown that approved waxes are safe to eat. Waxes are indigestible, which means they go through the body without breaking down or being absorbed.

The site also says waxes may be combined with some chemicals to prevent the growth of mold. The safety and use of these substances are strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Commodities that may have coatings applied include apples, avocados, bell peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplants, grapefruits, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, parsnips, passion fruit, peaches, pineapples, pumpkins, rutabagas, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, and yucca. However, they are not always waxed.

Produce shippers and supermarkets in the United States are required by federal law to label produce items that have been waxed so you will know whether the fruits and vegetables you buy are coated. Consumers will see signs in produce departments that read: "Coated with food-grade vegetable-, petroleum-, beeswax-, and/or shellac-based wax or resin, to maintain freshness." None of these coatings is animal-based, and they all come from natural sources. (I can't say I remember ever seeing one of these signs. I'm going to have to look next time I go to the store)

Another site I found addressed concerns that the wax coatings were not kosher. The article is very detailed and provides sources. According to the article shellac and carnauba wax are by far the most commonly used bases. Shellac is a secretion of the lac bug, and Carnauba wax is formed on the leaves of the Brazilian palm tree.

As far as additives are concerned Morpholine oleate is added as an emulsifier to make it easy to spread the wax on the fruit with water. Stearic acid may be used to give the coating toughness and flexibility. Soy or dairy protein may be used as additives to thicken the spray.

For anyone who is interested I just called McClendon's Orchards in Arizona. The Lemons cost $40 for a 20lb box. The good news is their lemons are organic, never coated in wax and only washed in water. The bad news is the lemons aren't available until mid-December.


Edited by titmfatied (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you guys are great. thank you for all your info. and have you made the epi recipe for limoncello and approve? would love your opinions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is one of the best threads eGullet has ever produced, and that's saying something. I'd suggest you don't try it until you read through this thread.

Making Limoncello


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you , Jaymes, for reiterating our suggestions. There is so much information in that thread that it answers almost all questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...