When you think of a lemon, you probably think of the yellow and acidic fruit. However, there’s more than one type of lemon. A type of lemon you may not have heard of is the pink lemon. But what is a pink lemon? What does it bring to the table in terms of taste and nutrition? We’re going to get into that below, helping you understand the ins and outs of pink lemons. Ready? Let’s get started.
What Are Pink Lemons?
Let’s begin by discussing what pink lemons are. Also known as the variegated Eureka lemon, the pink lemon comes from mutated Eureka lemon trees. It was first discovered in Burbank, California, in the 1930s. Initially, there was no concerted effort to produce pink lemons. They occurred organically. These days, however, produce growers deliberately cultivate the fruit. Pink lemons are most easily cultivated in warm climates. Because of this, they’re commonly grown in Southern California. While they’re called pink lemons, these lemons aren’t pink on their exteriors. Their exteriors are green. It’s their interiors that are pink. What makes the interior of the pink lemon pink? It’s an excess concentration of lycopene. This is an antioxidant that slows down the progression of some types of cancer.
Are Pink Lemons Used to Make Pink Lemonade?
Now, you might be wondering: are pink lemons used to make pink lemonade? Generally speaking, no. That said, they most certainly could be. See, pink lemonade is made pink with the use of berries and/or dyes. It’s not organically pink. The pink is added for novelty purposes only. Of course, if you wanted to, you could make lemonade out of pink lemons and then dye it pink. It’s important to note, however, that pink lemons will produce a slightly different taste than what’s typical of other lemons. You should also know that the color of pink lemon-squeezed lemonade is different than the color of yellow lemon-squeezed lemonade. That said, it’s still not actually pink. It has more of an orange-red hue to it.
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Pink Lemons?
We’ve told you what pink lemons are. Now, let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of pink lemons. They include the following.
Like all lemons and citrus fruits, pink lemons are high in Vitamin C. In fact, just a quarter cup of pink lemon juice contains approximately 30% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. Wondering what benefits Vitamin C provides? Not only does it aid in the production of connective tissue, but it also aids the bones, blood vessels, and skin. Plus, it staves off inflammation and strengthens the immune system. So, by consuming pink lemons on a regular basis, you’ll see the benefits of healthier skin, reduced pain, and a healthier disposition overall.
Not only do pink lemons provide Vitamin C but citric acid as well. How does citric acid benefit the body? By staving off kidney stones, improving nutrient absorption, and protecting the body against inflammation. In doing these things, it reduces the likelihood of problems like anemia, chronic pain, and the like.
Pink lemons are also a great source of fiber. As such, they’re good for regulating the digestive system. Fiber has the added benefit of providing a feeling of fullness. So, by consuming pink lemons on a regular basis, you’ll be less compelled to overeat and, therefore, might lose weight as a result.
Another benefit of pink lemons is that they’re a good source of calcium. Calcium is beneficial in that it strengthens the teeth and bones. It also aids in the function of muscles and the cardiovascular system.
As noted above, pink lemons contain lycopene. This is the compound that gives pink lemons their pinkness. But lycopene isn’t just a color-altering substance. It’s also an antioxidant. An antioxidant is a substance that fights off free radicals, the likes of which can lead to heart disease, cancer, and the like. So, by consuming free radicals regularly, you increase your chances of avoiding dangerous diseases, thus leading a healthier and more fulfilling life.
What Do Pink Lemons Taste Like?
The pink lemon tastes, more or less, like the Eureka lemon. After all, it is a deviant of the Eureka lemon tree. Now, what does that taste like? In a word: tart. Pink lemons are high in tartness. That said, as they age, they tend to become sweeter in flavor as they become less acidic over time. In many cases, you’ll also taste floral and berry flavors when eating pink lemons. Note, though, that these are less pronounced.
In What Ways Are Pink Lemons Used in Food Dishes?
As far as food dishes go, pink lemons can be used in a variety of different ways. We’ll discuss some of their most prominent uses below.
Oftentimes, pink lemons are used simply for zest. Either their juice is spread over food dishes, or they’re diced and used in small quantities in food dishes. In short, they’re frequently used as supplemental flavors, not the main attraction.
Not only are pink lemons used for zest but for treats as well. For instance, pink lemon juice might be frozen to make popsicles. Or it might be used as the main attraction in a pie. You’ll also see it baked into pies, cakes, cookies, and the like. It’s highly versatile when it comes to sweets and treats.
Stirred Into Water
Pink lemons can also be stirred into water as a means of infusing sugar, honey, and the like. Of course, it’s also used to make lemonade from time to time. You might even mix it with alcoholic beverages, either with other flavors or by itself.
For Any Recipe Calling for Standard Lemons
You can also use pink lemons as a substitute for standard lemons. They do possess a different taste. However, this could give a new twist to a dish that you already enjoy.
Incorporating Pink Lemons Into Various Foods
As noted, pink lemons can be used in a variety of ways. Some of the ways they can be incorporated into foods include the following.
Spread Pink Lemon Juice Over Salads
One option is to spread pink lemon juice over salads. For instance, you could make a honey lemon vinaigrette with pink lemons instead of yellow. Or you could simply drip fresh pink lemon juice over the top of your salad.
Bake Pink Lemon Juice in Baked Goods
You could also bake pink lemon juice into baked goods. For instance, you could put it into cookies. Or you could use it in pies or cake. Lemon bars can be made with pink lemons as well. They’ll give the bars a much sweeter taste overall.
Mix Pink Lemons With Beverages
Whether you’re using it to make lemonade or are putting it in alcoholic beverages, pink lemon can do a lot to change a drink’s flavor profile. You could even mix it with water to create pink lemon juice.
Use It to Season Meats
One last way to use pink lemons in foods is to use them as a seasoning. You can dice pink lemons and then use them to garnish steak, chicken, and other such meats.
Where to Buy Pink Lemons
Now, you might be wondering: where can you buy pink lemons? There are a number of locations that are likely to sell pink lemons. If you’re in Southern California, you should be able to find them at your local farmer’s market. If you’re outside of Southern California, you’ll likely have to look online or in specialty produce stores. Pink lemons are often used in meal boxes as well. In fact, many of the meal boxes here at Craveble make use of pink lemons.
How Should You Store Pink Lemons?
You’ve purchased some pink lemons. Now, how should you go about storing them? Generally speaking, you should store them in the same way that you would store yellow lemons. There are a few different methods for doing this, including the following.
Store Them on Your Countertop
You could simply store them on your countertop. This entails putting them in a bowl and keeping them dry. If you store them this way, they should last around a week before starting to rot.
Store Them in Your Refrigerator
If you want your pink lemons to last as long as possible, you should store them in your refrigerator. For the best results, put them in either a zip-locked plastic bag or an airtight container. By doing this, you’ll enable your pink lemons to last for a month or more.
Store Them in Your Freezer
There’s also the option to freeze your pink lemons. Pink lemons can keep for up to four months while in the freezer. While their pulp will be mushy upon thawing, their juice will still be good for use in lemonade, sweets, and other dishes. To freeze pink lemons properly, put them in a freezer bag. You can find freezer bags online and in big box stores.
Store Them in a Sliced Format
Let’s say you’ve already sliced your pink lemons. Can they be stored? Yes, for up to seven days. To keep them as long as possible, put them in a zip-locked bag or airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.
Store the Juice
You can also store the juice of pink lemons if you wish. Note, though, that it will actually keep longer if you store the lemon as a whole. Lemon juice on its own typically will lose flavor after four days. Regardless, if you decide to do this, store the juice in an airtight container or jar and put it in the refrigerator. If you store it in, say, a pitcher, it’s going to lose its flavor much faster. Note that you can also freeze pink lemon juice. Freezing pink lemon juice will enable it to last for up to four months.
How Do Pink Lemons Differ From Yellow Lemons?
Now, you might be curious as to how pink lemons are different from yellow lemons. Are they just different in appearance? Or do they actually differ in terms of taste and other characteristics? There are other differences. For one, pink lemons have fewer seeds than yellow lemons. In addition, they emit a more fragrant aroma. In terms of taste, yellow lemons are tarter and more acidic than pink lemons. Whereas pink lemons have floral and fruity flavor notes, yellow lemons are, more or less, void of them. So, in other words, while pink lemons are still tart, they’re sweeter than yellow lemons.
How Rare Are Pink Lemons?
Comparatively speaking, pink lemons are extremely rare. Whereas yellow Eureka lemons comprise 98% of the total lemons grown in the United States, and Meyer lemons comprise 1%, pink lemons comprise just 0.5% of the country’s total lemon population. As noted above, they’re only grown in Southern California. As such, they’re generally only purchased there as well. However, if you really want them, you can purchase them online and have them delivered to you.
Looking for Top-Notch Meals?
And there it is, that’s a full review of pink lemons. As you can see, pink lemons have a lot to offer in terms of taste and nutrition. You can incorporate them into a variety of dishes with wonderful results. Looking for top-notch meals? Interested in having them delivered to your home ready to cook? If so, Craveble has you covered. We offer meals from restaurants all throughout the west coast, delivering them to addresses in California, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington. Do you have any questions about our services? Contact us now!