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Apr 10, 2010 01:46 AM

finding lemon oil for baking??

In another post (re lemon cakes) in the Home Cooking forum, a few people suggested to the OP that she try adding lemon oil to the recipe, to give a real extra kick of flavor. These posters made pains to emphasize that this is *not* lemon extract.

I have my own lemon olive oil already (great with salads, natch), but this is obviously not what these posters mean. Some posters suggested finding it at Costco or Whole Foods. But the website for Costco shows zero hits for lemon oil. Same at Whole Foods. Same at Sufas and Sur La Table.

Anyone heard of this product? Where in LA can I find it?


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  1. They might well mean Boyajian's excellent oils. I have tried the lemon, lime and orange. You can find them sometimes at high end stores. I believe I saw them last at Vicente Foods on San Vicente in Brentwood:

    I just noticed the website says they are available at Costco but it does not mention the Southwest region. There may be a source link on the page. I have seen them at Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma but cannot vouch for recently.

    1. Surfas for sure and some of your nicer markets, Gelson's Bristol Farm's will have lemon & orange oils. King Arthur flour also sells oils on their site. Surfas should have it and they open at 9:00 call first just in case. Save me a slice of what you are baking.

      1. Burger Boy is right, Surfas has it for sure. I've seen some there as recently as 2 weeks ago. Their website is not particularly well updated, so give them a call to make sure it's not currently out of stock.

        Burger Boy
        1650 S State College Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92806

        11 Replies
        1. re: bad nono

          I believe you can also find them in the King Arthur flour catalog online.

          1. re: Neta

            Thanks guys. I called Surfas the day I posted, and (as my OP suggested) I was told they did not carry it. And their website makes no mention of it. Of course; I might have been misinformed when I call. Odd that it doesn't show up on their website and their staff (well, the one person I talked with) could not find a record of it either. Great to know that it's available. Surfas is no longer a low-cost store, but I'm sure their prices will be significantly lower than at Bristol Farms. It's not a huge drive for me, so I might just head over. Hopefully, they'll have lemon, lime, and orange oils in stock. They sound amazing.

            1. re: santamonica811

              they'll be in the baking area, alongside the vanilla. believe the instructions about the amounts---this is definitely a "less is more" situation...those boyajian oils are wonderful, but they are STRONG, and if you add more than a touch, they will impart a bitter flavor, rather than that gorgeous citrus flavor you're looking for. thye last a very long time.

              1. re: santamonica811

                I called Surfas the other day and asked about a product, they said they were out of it. I went and sure enough it was right there. To bad they do not have it together like they used to before they moved. Oh well, I will continue to go as they have the stuff I need.

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  I got a three-pack of citrus oils (the Boyajian brand) from Cost Plus World Market a few years ago. Lemon, Lime, and Orange. Try to share these if you can. They come in small bottles, but you don't need much at all, and they will go bad fast.

                  1. re: Burger Boy

                    and sometimes you're at the store, and you ask, and they say they don't carry it, you browse down the aisles and ta da! It's here.

                    re: lemon oil, I think Sur La Table may have it.

                    1. re: bad nono

                      Hmmm. Where are these oils stored? In a cool dark place in the pantry? In the fridge? Is there any way to prevent the oils going bad? I had thought of getting the 5 oz bottles, but since I don't bake all that often; maybe it would make more sense to get the 3-pack of 1-oz sizes? I'd hate to have pricey oils go bad on me.

                      Alternatively, maybe I could keep about 1 oz of each oil in the fridge, and freeze the rest? Divide the frozen stuff into 1-oz portions, and unfreeze as necessary?

                      1. re: santamonica811

                        Air, varying temps and light are usually the culprits in changing an oil's quality. First, I would see if the bottles have an expiration date. If a sealed bottle has a relatively short shelf life, well... Also, I don't know if they can or cannot be put in the fridge/freezer, but you certainly could treat them like an opened bottle of wine. Use gas spray systems like "Private Preserve," and store in a dark cool area. The only issue with putting the oil in smaller containers is you will expose the poured contents to air. Short term it's no issue. Longer term, it might.

                        1. re: santamonica811

                          just one little bottle would last you a long time. At Surfas they keep them in the same section as vanilla extract, almond extract, etc.
                          I, in fact, never use lemon oil, as I'm lucky to have a Meyer lemon tree in my backyard, and I use the zests whenever I do a lemony dessert.
                          As far as extract go, I store them in a cupboard. I don't think the go bad that quick.

                        2. re: bad nono

                          I bought lemon oil at Sur La Table at the 3rd/Fairfax Farmer's Market.
                          Kept in fridge after opening.

                          1. re: yinyangdi

                            I know this is an old thread, but just wanted to mention that I keep mine in the cupboard, no refrigeration, and it has lasted for 5 years so far, knock on wood.

                            And unless you do a huge amount of baking with citrus, I would stick to the little three-pack of one ounce oils, at least for your first foray into baking with citrus oils.

                2. The Mercantile in Hollywood has a great cool dry goods section where they sell some really interesting products (spices and molecular gastronomy chemicals I haven't seen anywhere else in town), including lemon oil.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: mollyomormon

                    Quick recommendation for using the lemon oil: Use 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 water with some basmati rice, add three drops lemon oil per two cups rice, and cook as usual. You'll thank me. I thanked our wedding caterer, who cooked this with Indian dishes for our wedding, and was smart enough not to tell us it was their first time catering with Indian food until afterward.

                    1. re: subinthapa

                      Your recipe sounds interesting. But the proportions sound way off. Typically, in my prep, I'd use about 1/3 to 1/2 C. of basmati rice to the 1 C. of liquid you talk about. That 2:1 ratio or 3:1 ratio works very well, and I end up with fluffy rice. But you also talk about using 2 cups of rice in this dish, and the 1 c. of liquids will (I think) be nothing near enough to cook the rice.

                      Can you re-post, and give the amounts of rice, water, coconut milk, etc..?

                      Thanks much. Am eager to try your recipe.

                      1. re: santamonica811

                        Look closer: "Use 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 water with some basmati rice..."

                        Subinthapa did not specify cups, just a ratio of 1 to 1. For example, if a given recipe indicates 3 cups of water, you would then use 1.5 cups of coconut milk and 1.5 cups of water.

                        The addition of lemon oil to basmati rice does sound interesting...

                        1. re: Joe Blowe

                          Fry up some peanuts with garlic, add some sea salt and cumin, and use as a garnish...

                          1. re: Joe Blowe

                            Thanks Joe. I guess he just forgot to mention the 1:1 ratio. Thanks so much for giving me the correct proportion. Once I manage to track down the lemon oil, I will definitely play around with this recipe.

                    2. Have you tried a cake decorating shop? I found lemon oil at one here in Orange County.