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What Is a Meyer Lemon?

Lemon Tart with Almond Crust

Winter might be cold and dreary, but it comes with one benefit: it’s peak citrus season! Most grocery stores pack their produce displays with juicy pink grapefruit, super sweet tangerines, vibrant blood oranges and Meyer lemons, a lemon-orange hybrid that’s only available a few months of the year. What makes this variety different from regular lemons, and is it worth its expensive price tag? Here are the juicy details.

What is a Meyer lemon?

Meyer lemons are a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon, which makes them smaller, juicier and sweeter than regular lemons. They were originally used as decorative houseplants in China until a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee, Frank Meyer, brought them to the States. Because they have super thin skins, they’re difficult to ship, so they were confined to the citrus belt—California, Florida and Texas—for years.

Today, Meyer lemons are available in many specialty grocery stores, but the extra precaution in shipping makes them more expensive. They also have a very short harvest season, so you’ll likely only find them between December and March.

What do Meyer lemons taste like?

What makes Meyer lemons so unique is they’re more sweet than tart. They have a tangerine-like flavor, and lack …read more

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