Are Meyer lemons worth it?
- Richard 16 Jan 20, 2008 08:25 AM
A local international market carries Meyer lemons, but they're very expensive. Are they worth it? (I've read some of the past threads and they sound delicious.) Or are they just trendy?
What's the deal?
"Worth it" is really subjective!
If the question you're asking is whether they're really distinctively different from "regular" lemons, then the answer is yes. How much that difference is worth is up to you.
I don't know how expensive they are at this market (in my neighborhood they grow prolifically on trees and people give them away), but although they're more expensive than other lemons, they're still less expensive than, for example, steak. It's not going to break the bank for you to buy a couple and see for yourself. Just use them in a way that will really make the most of their distinctive qualities, and remember that they're a lot less tart and acidic than regular lemons, so you may have to adjust a recipe accordingly if that tart/acidic element is important to the recipe.
It depends on the recipe. Recipes that specify them where you want to have their milder flavor profile would be "yes". Anything where you might actually eat the lemons would typically be "yes". If you have an organic source and are using them for zest, sure (because conventional citrus skins are loaded with pesticides). But for many recipes, good old Eureka or Lisbon lemons will do the trick.
I also live in an area where they are pricey. They are absolutely worth it. Delicious, unique and fragrant. I don't usually cook with them (because of the price), but use them as a last minute addition. Be sure not to waste the rind! They make a great lemonade too.
I just made a lemon ginger pie with meyers. It was awsome, just awsome. The recipe called for meyers but said that regular lemons would work as well. I don't think it would have been as good without the meyers; it would have lacked subtlety. I recommend it.
I was sort of thinking about this today when I was at the farmer's market here in San Francisco. I like to have lemons in my fridge, since I often need them for something or another.....although i didn't have any specific recipe in mind.
The stand I was at had both meyer lemons and regular lemons for 25 cents each. The regular lemons are bigger, but the meyer lemons looked really good. I decided to buy the meyer lemons, and when I really think about it (and honest with myself) I think I did this because I like the novelty (I am relatively new to California, so these are still pretty new to me). I think meyer lemons get a lot of hype, some of which is deserved (cause they are good and have a unique, less acidic flavor) but I don't think they're worth paying a lot of money for.....but like Ruth says, you should try some and see for yourself. I just wanted to add the opinion that some people seem to use them or add them to recipes mainly cause it sounds cool and unique, not because they actually prefer them flavor-wise.
Man, I am such a meyer lemon hater. :)