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Jul 13, 2012 12:53 PM

Preserved Lemon -- Is that normal

I just bought a jar of preserved lemon. When I opened it, I saw black dots on the lid, and the very first lemon on top. Is that normal? Are they still safe to use?

It is frustrating. The jar cost more than $10. I thought the commercial ones are safer than homemade.....

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  1. That doesn't look normal to me. I would take it back and see if they would exchange for another jar. Looks like maybe the lid didn't seal properly and the exposed part of the top lemon molded a bit.

    1. Home made preserved Lemons are not unsafe. They are easy to make and because of the salt and acid involved are not a big risk with the most basic sanitation.
      And at 10$ worth the time.

      1. I have no idea what the black dots are and whether it's safe or unsafe. But I've bought tons of preserved lemons and never seen that.

        1. Not normal.

          I make preserved lemons, limes and even black spots. I would take it back.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sedimental

            What do you use preserved clementines in?

            1. re: nbgrits

              Anything you would use the lemons in. I like them with chicken, duck and shrimp dishes the best.

              I preserve meyer lemons and tangerines too.

              I use them all in cous cous, quinoa and bulgar dishes. Cold cous cous salad with preserved oranges, parsley and pine nuts is a favorite. They are also good with coriander seeds in the jars. I don't care for honey preserved oranges (which is more traditional) because I don't eat sweets much.

              Also...this is a great way to preserve blood oranges when you can get them.

              1. re: sedimental

                Thank you. I am making preserved clementines tomorrow!

                1. re: sedimental

                  Kumquats are fun too! A little tedious to make though.

            2. It sounds like oxidation; from the heavy concentration of citric acid and salt, but - I would take it back - any commercial jar should have packaging that would prevent this - especially at $10 a jar!

              Then, come back to CH, and do a search here for 'preserved lemons". There are two active threads about them that have tons of tips and recipes to make your own for less than 1/2 that!