New Food Friday – Meyer Lemons

19 Apr

Although I was sad to have to postpone New Food Friday, in hindsight, it turned out for the best. Preparing for my talk on blogtalkradio took more effort than I realized when I agreed to be a guest on the show. I thought I wouldn’t have enough to say. It turned out that I ran out of time and couldn’t finish what I had to say! Who knew? It was an interesting experience and fun to talk to Marilyn and Tatiana. I wish we could have chatted more.

Just to catch up, I’ve gotten a lot done in the short time I skipped New Food Friday. I dug up my garden in preparation for my new plants. What I usually do is collect all the leaves that huddle in a corner of my house and bury them in holes I dig in the garden once the weather turns warmer. This aerates the soil, feeds the plants as the leaves decompose, and eliminates the need to bag them, having to use plastic bags in the process. It’s a win-win.

I also got a car repair taken care of which included getting reimbursed and having to go to another repair shop to diagnose and fix the things that were botched up. I may be writing a post about it soon.

Since my lawn mower died and I tried fixing it myself to no avail,(it’s an electric push mower), I tried to get someone to fix it. Two repair places declined!  I had no alternative than to buy a new one. This is another story that deserves its own post because a police officer was involved! I kid you not. So much for my boring life! NOT!

So, without further ado, let’s discuss my experience with Meyer Lemons which is what brings me to this New Food Friday. One of my favorite drinks is lemonade, especially during the summer when I’ve just finished mowing the lawn. I’ve always used regular lemons for this drink until I spotted some Meyer Lemons on a visit to Wal-Mart while I was looking for lactose-free yogurt which they were supposed to have but didn’t. 

Meyer Lemons are different from regular lemons. As you can see from the packaging in the photo, Meyer lemons are sweet and tart.

Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons

But are they really? I sliced one in half and tasted it. It didn’t taste sweet at all. In fact, it had an odd taste but I reserved my judgment until it was time for me to use the second lemon from the package. It tasted exactly the same as the first one.

English: Cross sections of Eureka, Meyer, Yuzu...

Cross sections of Eureka, Meyer, Yuzu, and Pink Lemons, and 1 sweet Lime (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These Meyer lemons looked like tangerines. They are a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange.  To me, they taste like the juice squeezed from the skin of a tangerine. That is how I would describe it. Is that how they should to taste?  I have a hunch they should taste better than that! Maybe it depends on what orchard produced these lemons or maybe these lemons had been sitting around Wal-Mart for too long. Or perhaps they were left on the tree too long. It’s anyone’s guess.

The flavor didn’t stop me from adding the juice to my tea and honey

sxc.hu aga_wrr Tea with Lemon

Tea with Honey and Lemon  sxc.hu aga_wrr

or to make a glass of lemonade.

sxc.hu suzula  Glass of Lemonade

Glass of Lemonade sxc.hu suzula

Neither tasted as good as a regular lemon in these drinks.

These Meyer lemons look good, they just don’t taste that good I’m sorry to say.

I’d be willing to try them again. Next time I’ll buy them from Meijer and maybe I’ll have more luck. If it turns out that they are better, I will amend this post. 

But for now, these Meyer lemons are getting a thumbs down from me! Booooo! Have you used Meyer lemons? If so, what has your experience been like?

UPDATE 4/23/13: I found Meyer lemons at my local Meijer yesterday and made myself a glass of lemonade. So far, these Meyer lemons are an improvement over the ones I bought at Wal-Mart. 

Meyer Lemons2

Meyer Lemons2

I don’t know if you can see the difference from the photos, but the Meijer Meyer  lemons (hehehe) are more yellow where the Wal-Mart Meyer lemons were more orange.

I paid $2.69 at Meijer for Sunkist, a well-respected brand, of Meyer lemons. There were 5 to a package. The Wal-Mart Meyer lemons contained only 4 lemons even though they weighed the same. They cost $1.98.  But you’re not saving anything if you have to throw the produce out and if it doesn’t taste good. Also, I’d rather have 5 lemons instead of 4 even if the overall weight is the same. For one thing, there would be more skin and therefore more zest for recipes with 5 lemons. 

Speaking of zest and skin, when I squeezed the Meijer Meyer lemon for my lemonade, the skin cracked very easily which made it difficult to squeeze. That’s not such a big deal because I’ve had regular lemons do that on occasion. You can see from the photo that the skin was rather thick. It’s actually very edible. I can see making preserves out of these lemons!

The packaging of the Sunkist Meyer lemons didn’t say anything about them being sweet as the Wal-Mart lemons claimed.  These Sunkist Meyer lemons are much less “puckery” than regular lemons. I didn’t get a strong “tangerine” taste that I got with the Wal-Mart lemons, these had a much milder, more pleasant tangerine-lemon taste.

Meyer Lemon Sliced

Meyer Lemon Sliced

I’ve recently seen regular lemons sell for $.63 each at Meijer. So, the Meijer Meyer lemons would be cheaper! 

By sheer luck, I found the castelvetrano olives today at Kroger; the ones that Gerard mentioned in the comment section below. I combined an olive with the Meyer lemon and enjoyed the combination! 

I will be having thin slices of these lemons with salmon for dinner along with a side of brown rice and a stuffed artichoke. Yum!

OK, so Meyer lemons now get a thumbs up!

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13 Responses to “New Food Friday – Meyer Lemons”

  1. Anonymous April 22, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    I think when it comes to lemons it can be a hit or miss. However I like to know where they come from so I try to buy from the farmers market or Whole Foods. Perhaps those Walmart lemons were in cold storage too long….

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    • Marcella Rousseau April 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Hit or miss sounds right! I bought some at Meijer the other day and they are very different from the ones I bought at Wal-Mart. I will be updating my post soon. A Whole Foods store is more than 25 miles from me so it’s not worth the trip just for lemons. But if I can coordinate some other errand in the same direction, I will give them a try.

      Like

      • Gerard Villanueva April 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

        I tasted a Meyer lemon at work yesterday from our produce supplier. It was tasty, tart but also sweet. Whereas it would be hard for me to enthusiastically eat a whole regular lemon, the Meyer went down pretty easily. RIght now the oranges we are getting are deliciously sweet and flavorful though sometimes they are very disappointing. I’ve seen that depending on conditions, quality can vary alot. with produce.

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  2. Gerard Villanueva April 20, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    This is a very mouth-watering post! My only experience with Meyer lemons is when used for “preserved lemons”, the Moroccan specialty used in some of its tagine dishes. I’ve never tried them store-bought, but home-preserved they are delicious! A friend of mine regularly preserves them in the Moroccan style. At work, I use them to stuff olives, a great flavor combo if you like your appetizer tart and pucker inducing! Because of the flavor and thin skin qualities, Meyer lemons are the lemon of choice for many when used in this kind of preserving. The organically grown variety are even more preferred.

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    • Marcella Rousseau April 21, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      You know, my favorite preserves are one that I make myself: lemon and oranges which is my own version of orange marmalade. I would be willing to try Meyer lemons again for this treat. I like to drizzle it on acorn squash that I first halve, steam cut side down in the microwave for 5 or 6 minutes, then baste with butter and the marmalade, and then broil until lightly browned. It’s so good! Meyer lemon stuffed olives sounds intriguing! What kind of olives do you use?

      Like

      • Gerard Villanueva April 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

        That marmalade and butter topped acorn squash sounds like a very good treat! I’ve never tried making my own preserves… I’ll use any cured green olive that has the pit removed and not already stuffed. I can just imagine the work in pitting a bunch of olives! The type I get from our local Whole Foods Market is the “castelvetrano”. It is a brine-cured olive which is bright green in color and a little salty with a good clean olive taste. They taste good by themselves.

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        • Marcella Rousseau April 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

          Thank you for the information. I love olives. I had some jumbo black olives just last night. I’m going to have to find a Whole Foods market around here. Meijer has their own brand of “thrown” green olives. They’re delicious! I make the freezer type jam. You can store it in the freezer and then it keeps in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 weeks. I put it in small mason jars. The recipe is in most fruit pectin boxes. Ball fruit pectin is one type that I’ve used, but I’ve used other brands too. They include recipes for cooked jams and jellies too. They don’t have the orange marmalade recipe though. That one I made up myself which is easy to do once you get the hang of it! I prefer the freezer type because I think cooking kills the vitamins in the fruit. If you want more information, try: http://www.freshpreserving.com

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  3. P. C. Zick April 20, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    In response, the previous comment, perhaps that’s the problem? I like my lemons and lemonade tart and I suspect you do, too, Marcella. They might be good on their own if they are fresher, but not if you’re expecting the mouth-tightening bite of a regular lemon. For the record, I’ve never tried one. Next time I’m in Florida, I’ll look for them.

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    • Marcella Rousseau April 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Most of these citrus fruits are sprayed with a chemical to preserve them (it usually says on the netted bag or packaging.) Maybe the Meyer lemons I bought didn’t get enough of the spray or any of it. I never have this kind of a problem at Meijer. It may be cheaper to shop at Wal-Mart but not worth it if you have to throw out the produce!

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  4. camparigirl April 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I love Meyer lemons! They are less acidic than regular lemons and slightly sweeter or, let’s say, less tangy. Their flavor is not as in your face as a lemon, just more subtle. They are great to use in desserts and, as I have a tree, I have sometimes used them to make lemonade, although they tend to be too pricey for such pursuits that require a lot of lemons. Their skin is thinner and smoother than a regular lemon but, although some have an orange tinge, they are usually a deeper and darker yellow. I think they didn’t taste good because Meyer lemon season is way over and lord knows where they came from (and probably sat in a container for days). Best to get them from a farmer’s market when in season around Jan/Feb.

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    • Marcella Rousseau April 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      The packaging showed that they came from the USA. Last week I saw that Meijer was now stocking Meyer lemons. Heheh, Meijer-Meyer! according to the Local Harvest. org website, http://www.localharvest.org/meyer-lemons-C5408 Meyer lemons are in season from Dec – April so they should still be good. I’ll pick up another bunch at Meijer (they come in the same packaging as at Wal-Mart) and see if they are any better.

      Like

  5. Marcella Rousseau May 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    ; – )

    Like

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  1. Weekly Cocktail #52: Boston Expat Punch « Putney Farm - May 30, 2013

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