The weather here in Tennessee is going crazy: one day we have sunshine and it is super warm, the other day it is snowing and the temperatures drop … Due to this confused behavior, I decided to perform a little experiment. May I count you in? You just need a bit of imagination and a lemon (ok, maybe you also need someone to read the following text). Close your eyes and smell the lemon:
We are standing on a lonely beach. The sand is soft and warm on our feet. The sun sets slowly into the sea and the colors of the horizon are many different shades of orange and pink. After a few minutes we turn around and walk in peace to our finca, where we will live for some time. The small stone house comes into view. It seems to be waving and inviting us to its citrus tree surrounded terrace. As we pass, the leaves gently touch our forearms and, following an impulse, we reach out to smell one of the beautiful, young lemons. Its fresh scent rises into our nostrils and we can almost taste it, as intense and delicious as it is. Only a few more weeks, then they are ready for harvest.
Open your eyes again, put the lemon down and welcome back to the TOW. The experiment is over. Do you feel relaxed and kissed by the sun? If your answer is yes, congratulations, you are part of a fabulous world, because food and indulgence have a lot to do with memories and associations. The lemon is just one of the components in this game, but it is an important one, especially for those I have just given a new memory. Thanks to its pleasant acidity and aromatic oils, the yellow holiday fruit not only enhances the taste of many dishes, it also manages to take us on a mental getaway. Just take a bit of lemon juice or peel to give your savory and sweet food a fresh taste that will remind you of summer, sun and the sea. With this simple trick you are able to create tasty and well-balanced dishes that will bring you back to that beach and the finca. Subtle, but effective!
Lemons can be used in many ways. Classically, you squeeze the juice and put it into your dressings, pastries or season with it. You can also slice lemons, halve them, quarter them and so on. Place the fruit on a cutting board and cut it into the desired shape with a sharp knife. My favorite way to cook and bake with lemons is to use their peel (organic!). The delicious and natural oils in this part are amazing. You can grate them with a kitchen grater, remove zest with a citrus zester or peel off pieces, spirals or the like with a peeler or knife. Be sure to remove only the upper, yellow layer because the white below tastes relatively bitter.
I use the aromatic fruit in each of these forms, whether in a delicious salad, a wonderful pasta dish or a juicy piece of cake. It is such an easy way to escape for a short moment and to spent some time in my favorite lemon memories. If you are interested, come back next week and let me share one with you.
PS: I promised you more objectivity and hard facts here in the TOW. As you can see, I am not that good with this, so I hope you don’t mind.