Random facts about lemons in France plus links to easy, healthy recipes (mainly French) using lemon or lime.
Available all year round but high seasons in France are November-December and February-September.
Autumn; Winter; Spring; Summer.
Fun French Expression
“Tiens moi au jus”
Familiar French expression meaning “Keep me informed” (literally translated as Keep me in the juice).
Random Facts About Lemons & Limes in France
- In the Mediterranean south where lemon trees prefer the hotter climate, lemon trees can flower 3-4 times a year, so harvesting can happen throughout the year;
- France is famous for its lemons from Menton on the Côte d’Azur. Les citrons de Menton have been cultivated since the 15th Century and today are considered a gastronomic speciality;
- At the end of each winter in February, Menton holds its famous lemon festival or Carnaval de Menton;
- According to Aprifel France, good source of vitamin C and B9, especially in the winter months. Lemons also help clean the liver – so drink fresh lemon juice with some water every morning for a Spring detox;
- Lemons and limes contain a high amount of pectin, which is why lemon juice is generally used as a natural thickener in jam-making (see my recipe for spiced plum jam or apricot jam);
- To choose good lemons or limes, pick a heavy fruit with fine skin.
- When using the zest, always pick organic (bio in France) and unwaxed.
- Can’t find unwaxed? Clean off wax from lemons with a scrubbing brush in a basin of hot water.
- To grate lemon zest, grate the yellow or green parts of the skin only and avoid grating the white pith underneath, as this part is bitter;
- Excellent in savoury dishes too. We love it in:
– the French classic veal stew, Blanquette de Veau;
– lemon sauce to serve with roast chicken (poulet rôti);
– as a hint in these white asparagus & lemon clafoutis;
– in a creamy pasta lemon sauce;