LEMON (Citrus Limon)
Recent research has suggested that the Mediterranean lemon we know today is a hybrid of the citron, the Indian lime and a third as yet unknown citrus type (probably pummelo).It appears to have originated in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India from one such hybrid Indian lemon, with further development having occurred possibly in one of the citrus gardens in Media (now Iran) or elsewhere in the Middle East. Lemons were unknown to the Romans and were first taken to the Mediterranean area – Spain, in fact – by Arabs around AD 1150.Early lemon production in the Mediterranean started near Genoa on the Ligurian coast and as the climate there is far too cold without protection, plantings spread south to the Amalfi region near Naples and finally to the southern tip of mainland Italy and to Sicily. From there the lemon spread throughout the Mediterranean, then to the New World with Columbus on his second voyage in 1493, and eventually worldwide.Although lemons will grow well under tropical and semi-tropical climatic conditions, world production is largely restricted to sub-tropical regions since the tree and fruit present problems in the more humid environments due to pests and diseases.
Interdonato is considered a lemon-citron hybrid and is said to have originated about 1875 on the property of a Colonel Interdonato in Nizza, Sicily. This is the earliest maturing of lemon varieties in Turkey.This variety is resistant to mal secco. The tree is moderately vigorous and nearly thornless, with the leaves resembling to some extent those of the citron.This distinctive variety forms significantly high percentage of Turkey’s lemon crop. The fruit is much larger, longer and smoother than other lemon varieties, with a thin shining rind and a few seeds. Acidity of the juice is lower than most other lemons, although it is still quite acceptable for most culinary purposes.Rind color is improved by degreening but the tip of the nipple, which is susceptible area on this variety, is invariably turned brown in the process, therefore the treatment should be very sensible. In late December the Interdonato is over mature and is inclined to drop from the tree.
Available: September - November
Named after the town of Lamas, west of Mersin, this well-known Turkish variety forms a significant proportion of the country’s early season lemon production besides Interdonato.Lamas trees are vigorous, high yielding and come into production at an early age, and are harvested immediately after the Interdonato crop is finished, usually in early November. Fruit is of medium size, almost round in shape with small nipple and neck, with a rind that is smooth and thin, and pulp which is juicy and contains only three to five seeds per fruit. Lamas is perhaps Turkey’s best quality lemon.
Available: November – April
The seeds were imported from Sicily in 1858, and it was introduced as Eureka after two decades in California. It is the most widely grown lemon variety in California, Australia, South Africa and significantly in Argentina.The tree has a spreading habit but is only moderately vigorous. It has a well distributed harvest season through late winter, spring and early summer. The fruit is well protected from wind blemish and sunburn if the fruit is grown inside the canopy of the tree. Eureka trees are less thorny than Lisbons, making for easier picking than most other lemon varieties.Rind thickness is medium to thin, and the fruit has a high juice content with a high acid level. Seeds are few, rarely more than five, and often the fruit is seedless.
Available: November - December
This variety is probably a hybrid between the lemon and either an orange or a mandarin, found by F.N. Meyer in 1908. The tree is popular for its small compact size, cold-resistance, and production of fruit year-round (although mostly during the winter and early spring period).The fruit more closely resembles an orange than a lemon internally as well as externally. It is fairly large – 65 to 75 mm in diameter – almost round in shape and with only the smallest of nipples, usually almost inconspicuous. It has an attractive appearance, with yellowish orange rind which is exceptionally smooth, soft and thin.The pulp is usually a dark yellow color, very juicy and tender, containing about ten small round seeds per fruit. The flavor is distinct, as if having the sweet lime in its parentage, and it has a lower acid level than the true lemons. This variety is very sensitive to handling damage probably because of its rind texture and soft condition.
Available: September - December