The Meyer Lemon was always interesting to me. I’ve heard of it, read about how wonderful it is, even seen it used in olive oil, preserves, cooking, etc. But yet I never came across one until today at a Whole Foods Grocery Chain. It looks like a small lemon and has the taste of both a lemon and Mandarin orange.
Some background information on the Meyer Lemon, its a citrus fruit re-discovered by USA agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, who came across it on a voyage to China. While he tried to bring it back to the USA for cultivation, with it came a plant disease known as CTV (Citrus Tristeza Virus) which led to the death of millions of Citrus plants and trees worldwide, nearly 50 million and another 50 million here inhibited. Famers in Brazil and South America gave it the name “tristeza”, meaning sadness in Portuguese and Spanish. In the 1970s a new breed was introduced into the USA and is grown in the warmer regions of California.
Now, you can use this for literally dozens of different things from cooking to cocktails to desserts to decoration. Its excellent candied, use with poultry (chicken), shrimp cocktail, other seafood and shellfish, infusing olive oil, vodka, and, of course in a cocktail as pictured above, fresh squeezed and poured over ice with vodka and splash of club soda or sparking water.