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Ponderosa lemons have been nicknamed the "five pound lemon" since the fruits are huge. Although they weigh more typically in the two to four pound range, they can often reach the size of grapefruits or even footballs. Ponderosa lemons are obovoid in shape with a short neck. The rind is thicker and bumpier than true lemons, with a typical yellow lemon color. Inside, the fruit is pale yellow-green, juicy, and seedy. The taste is very acidic, similar to true lemons.
Ponderosa lemons may be found throughout the year with peak season in late spring and summer.
The Ponderosa lemon, or Citrus x limon 'Ponderosa,' is not a true lemon; it is thought to be a hybrid between a lemon and a citron, although this has not yet been verified. They are primarily grown ornamentally in warm climates because of the Ponderosa lemon tree's small size and attractive growth, but the fruits they produce are edible and delicious.
Like true lemons and other citrus, Ponderosa lemons are very high in Vitamin C. One half cup of lemon juice contains the full daily recommendation of Vitamin C. Lemons also have small amounts of dietary fiber and iron and are low in calories. The juice contains antioxidants which promote health and strengthen the immune system.
Ponderosa lemons can be used like true lemons in cooking. Use them to make juice, to flavor dishes, and in desserts, or even eat them raw. Choose fruit that is firm, bright yellow, and that feel heavy for their size, which indicates a substantial amount of juice. Lemons can generally last around two weeks on the counter, or six weeks in the refrigerator if stored properly.
Ponderosa lemons are most often grown as ornamental citrus trees in doorways or on patios in warmer parts of the United States.
The first known Ponderosa lemon was a seedling produced by George Bowman in Maryland in 1886 or 1887. Its first name was the "American Wonder Lemon," for its large size. Ponderosa Lemons were soon after grown in home citrus gardens starting around the turn of the twentieth century. Historically and today, they are grown mostly in Florida, Texas, and California, where the climate is favorable for this cold-sensitive lemon.
Recipes that include Ponderosa Lemons. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Cook Lisa Cook||Ponderosa Lemon & Sour Cream Tart|
|Logee's||Ponderosa Lemon Bread|
|Blog Her||Brown-Sugar & Cinnamon Preserved Ponderosa Lemons|
People have spotted Ponderosa Lemons using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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