Lemons of the Mediterranean

Lemons of the Mediterranean

According to best-selling author and French icon Mireille Guiliano, a French woman’s la boisson du jour on a sunny summer day is quite typically a citron pressé – or lemonade as we know it stateside. But given a lemon, the French can make much more than lemonade. In fact, it is a nearly impossible to talk about fruit in France – eating it or cooking with it – without mentioning the lemon. There’s even a city in southern France that hosts a huge annual springtime celebration – Fête du Citron – dedicated to all things lemon.

Whether its a a traditional lemon or the more fashionable meyer lemon, citrus fruits such as the lemon are staples in many Mediterranean countries, including France, Spain, Italy, and Greece. Although most uses for lemons are associated with cooking, baking, and beverage-making, lemons and their acidic juice offer much for than flavor and zest.

Guiliano points out on her Web site that lemons can be used for so much more, including:

  • Calming the nerves, ie sliced lemons in a cup of tea
  • Homemade facial astringent and exfoliant
  • Giving shine to your hair and lightening hair color

Still Real Simple magazine offers 10 additional ways lemons can be used beyond cooking, including whitening finger nails and brightening laundry whites.

What’s my favorite use for a lemon? Why decorating of course! Place a few fresh, uncut lemons in a crystal or other decorative bowl and voila – instant color and simple French chic!
Lemons – so many uses, so little time!
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