A lesson learned

I'd first heard of Meyer lemons about a thousand years ago. It's a rough estimate, but I think I'm close enough.

It might've been through this blog or maybe this one. All I know is that there came a point in my blog-reading career where Meyer lemons were all the rage. The culinary equivalent to leg warmers or skinny jeans, if you will, only prettier and gender-neutral. But, like 50s cocktail dresses, Meyer lemons will never go out of style. I thought cantaloupe or perhaps the pomegranate or maybe even red currants might take first place in the fruit beauty pageant, but the Meyer lemon has proven herself the belle of the ball too many times to count. And like my personal line-up of stylish great beauties -- Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and, in my opinion, Jackie O -- she's here to stay.

I should've sought out a Meyer lemon years ago. Sensing they were overrated, I never bothered. After all, regular lemons often fit the bill just fine: I love their inherent tartness, their thick citron skins, their bright acidity and aroma. But then (!) I took a trip to the Distillery District a little while ago, and had my mind thoroughly blown by a little Meyer lemon-ginger truffle at SOMA that entered the very recesses of my mind and left me speechless. And so I ate my chocolate accompanied by my words, and vowed never, ever again to let my annoyances interfere with potential culinary discoveries. The fact that many may feel compelled to write about, and endorse, a product ad nauseum is a good indicator that the item in question is worth trying, non? Perhaps this is an affirmation to live by in the new year.

Since my momentary encounter with the Meyer lemon, I've felt the compulsions. More Meyer lemon, please! I spotted a giant bag of them at Bloor Street Market, $3.99, but passed them up (why? Sometimes we have to learn the hard way.) And then (!) later on, as I browsed the aisles at Pusateri on Church, glancing at the array of fabulous olive oils and vinegars, I saw several Meyer lemons, petite and glowing, nestled in a basket by their lonesomes. It's almost as if they were sporting halos that late afternoon.

*Photo credit: asromanov
What would a Meyer lemon vinaigrette taste like? I wondered. Would it be a good thing or a very good thing?

As with many things, only time would tell, and time, she told a very nice story indeed.

Cider-poached salmon with dill,
flaked over Boston lettuce, eaten
with chopped kalamata olives, cucumber
and feta.
Meyer lemon drizzle
over the spectrum
...le sigh.

Yes, dear readers, the Meyer lemon possesses the most beautiful fragrance you've ever smelled in all your life. I want to say it shares some similarities with the tangerine, but that would do it a great injustice (with no offense to the tangerine, which is quite lovely in her own, orange-y way.) You have to smell it for yourself. Cut one open, inhale, taste. It's transformative. Perhaps I've said too much and have proceeded to annoy you with my goings-on about this fruit, but it is quite unlike a regular yellow lemon and took me entirely my surprise. It made me write poetry, friends. That's some inspiration. And so with that I wish you a very merry New Year's Eve -- best wishes, good luck, and may many a Meyer lemon skip into our lives this year, igniting several blissful surprises to run amok amongst us all.

xo, S. 


Kathleen Quiring said...

You are such a great writer, Sarah.

Since I generally don't frequent trendy food blogs (I'm still partial to the cookbook which I can flip through on my kitchen table) I have never before heard of the Meyer lemon.

It's hard for me to imagine that they are so different from standard lemons, but if you say they are that incredible, I will just have to keep my eyes open for some of these little darlings. Thanks for always introducing me to new and interesting foods!

S. said...

Thanks for the kind words, Kathleen.

I find Meyer lemons pretty incredible, anyway, and worth seeking out. They have a really unique, lively flavour, but more than anything they just smell amazing.

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