The origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in Assam (a region in northeast India), northern Burma or China
Lemons entered Europe near southern Italy no later than the second century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome, however, they were not widely cultivated. The lemon was first recorded in literature in a 10th-century Arabic treatise on farming and was also used as an ornamental plant in early Islamic gardens.
The first substantial cultivation of lemons in Europe began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century. The lemon was later introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World helped spread lemon seeds. It was mainly used as an ornamental plant and for medicine.
Flavour Profile – Lemons contain numerous phytochemicals, including polyphenols, terpenes, and tannins. Lemon juice contains slightly more citric acid than lime juice (about 47 g/l), nearly twice the citric acid of grapefruit juice, and about five times the amount of citric acid found in orange juice. Intensely sour they also have a bright fresh zesty aroma.
Did you know? – The average lifespan of lemon trees is over 50 years. With proper care and disease prevention practices, a vigorous tree can live over 100 years. Lemons were the primary commercial source of citric acid before the development of fermentation-based processes.
Grow me – Lemons need a minimum temperature of around 7 °C (45 °F), so they are not hardy year-round in temperate climates, but become hardier as they mature. Citrus require minimal pruning by trimming overcrowded branches, with the tallest branch cut back to encourage bushy growth. Throughout summer, pinching back tips of the most vigorous growth assures more abundant canopy development. As mature plants may produce unwanted, fast-growing shoots (called “water shoots”), these are removed from the main branches at the bottom or middle of the plant.
Distilled in – Wildjac Citrus Vodka