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Sweet Lemons


memesuze
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I just talked to the Kennedy farms guy (great citrus, esp. page mandarins) at the farmer's market, and he said that sweet lemons only grow in "region 16" and hotter. That means Fresno-south. Big in Ventura County. The trees die at 30º F.

He also mentioned a pink lemon that is too frost-sensitive to grow up here, for fellow connoisseurs of citrus exotica.

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On the subject of citrus, I just got back from a trip to my family's home in West Palm Beach, where I always pick Meyer lemons and real Key limes from the trees my late father planted.

On the way back, we stopped at one of those tourist fruit stands (only because I had promised a bag of oranges to my neighbor. Well, OK, also to look for Florida ceramic kitsch to add to my collection. But I swear, I never even glanced at the 13-foot alligator.)

They were selling a new citrus strain I hadn't seen: Red navels. (OK, Perlow, have your way with THAT phrase. :laugh: ) Anyway, they are very sweet navel oranges with red flesh, more like a red grapefruit in color than a blood orange. They were delicious.

If you're going to be in South Florida in the new few weeks, also look for the honeybell oranges, which are now all the rage among the citrus afficionadoes.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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  • 4 years later...

Bumping up this thread to ask if one should bother to purchase a small meyer lemon tree if one lives in a rental in Central New Jersey? I have $176 worth of credit at NapaStyle.com and don't see much else within my price-range worth purchasing. I've got a sunny front porch the pot can sit on, and I figured I'd bring it indoors in the off-season. Will such a plant ever bear fruit or is this a total waste of $99?

If not, I'm thinking about some blue steel pans or a gel kitchen mat, but can't decide if the pans are a worthwhile purchase either.

Thanks for any help!

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Bumping up this thread to ask if one should bother to purchase a small meyer lemon tree if one lives in a rental in Central New Jersey?

Depends on whether there are any bees nearby which can pollinate. Otherwise, you may get lots of flowers, but never any fruit. I live in a highrise, and haven't quite figured out how to get fruit from my apple trees... other than by planting 2 of them, and personally moving the pollen between the blossoms. :-)

My vote goes for the gel mat(s); two small ones are more versatile than one large.

Karen Dar Woon

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Depends on whether there are any bees nearby which can pollinate. Otherwise, you may get lots of flowers, but never any fruit. I live in a highrise, and haven't quite figured out how to get fruit from my apple trees... other than by planting 2 of them, and personally moving the pollen between the blossoms. :-)

My vote goes for the gel mat(s); two small ones are more versatile than one large.

Hmm, I didn't consider the pollination factor. I was anxious to buy and went ahead and ordered the tree anyway, and a fish pan. If I only get sweet-smelling flowers, that'll be cool too. We live in the midst of lots of trees and birds, so I'm hoping that will up the ante in my favor. I'm pretty sure I saw a bee the other day... :unsure:

Thanks for your help. I've been wanting a gel mat for the longest time, but stupidly didn't think to buy two smaller ones rather than the one large one, which was impractical for my setup. Next time.

Edited by abooja (log)
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Just noticed this thread. I bought half dozen sweet lemons a couple of weeks ago at a Middle Eastern grocery store in Toronto. I was told by a woman who was picking through the pile that she just eats them straight - they're that sweet. Anyway, when I got them home I discovered that they have almost no flavour at all and absolutely no aroma in the peel. In fact, it's sort of a nearly soapy smell - I grated one to use in, I can't remember what, but it was like adding nothingness. Total waste of $$$. The taste of the fruit isn't even as flavourful as a mediocre orange - what could possibly be the point of such a thing? I've never been up close and personal with a Meyer lemon but from the description, this is definitely not one.

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Nyleve Baar

the Meyer lemon has a great deal more flavor and aroma that the Persian sweet lemons ...

I agree I was disapointed tasting a Persian sweet lemon ..very watery and not much flavor...but then I sliced the rest up added them to a bottle of vodka (because they were expensive) and somehow the vodka found a flavor I missed tasting them ...so not a total loss

if you find a Meyer lemon try it they are much better than what you tasted

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 

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My boss's young'un, about 3, loves to eat regular lemons, but makes the "yuck" face between bites. I sent a Meyer lemon home with him (the boss) for his young'un to try, an it was reported back that the kid loved it!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I don't know if this helps or not, but we have a lime tree that we bring indoors for most of the year (we are in Minnesota), and we have limes on there all the time. I don't know how it would get pollenated, but it is by far the best $10 we've ever spent. It just got moved to the back yard, and has about 10 itty bitty limes on it right now.

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If they are Persian sweet lemons, you may want to try keeping a few of them unrefrigerated for a while. The flavor intensifies as the skin dries out. You end up with an unusually mild bittersweet citrus. Cut them into wedges and eat them immediately, otherwise they become bitter.

The thin-skinned smaller ones are usually more flavorful and fragrant.

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