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how to prevent a lemon from going bitter when stored for later use?

I use a lot of lemon and lime and sometimes I only ending up needing half a lemon or lime. Whether I store the half a lemon in the fridge or at room temp it always accumulates a bitter after taste, I thought you Chowhounders might have some useful advice. How can I prevent this? Is there even a way

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  1. We use/save partial lemons and limes all the time and we haven't noticed that.

    I'm curious to see what others say about this...

    2 Replies
    1. re: sandylc

      I always wrap mine leftover lemon/lime in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge. Seems ok to me.

      1. re: jeanmarieok

        I wrap it in plastic wrap and then seal it in a small container. The less air in that container the better. I use that method for onion as well.

    2. Raw-p;
      How long do you usually store your halves?
      Do you close them in a container or wrap?
      Do you ever partially juice the part you're storing before putting it away for later?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kris in Beijing

        Sometimes I store it for use later on the day without any form of containment and within hours it goes bitter. I don't partially juice it.

      2. I use either a small round Tupperware or a small zip lock bag.....must be refrigerated....never noticed any bitterness and I keep them for a week or more sometimes.

        1. I've never had that happen before. I store partial limes and lemons in the fridge all the time. I don't even bother to wrap it if I'm going to use it later in the day.

          Is it maybe picking up a smell/flavor from the container you're storing it in, or something it's stored next to?

          1. I notice this when I save a lemon in plastic bags. Use a jar instead.

              1. I don't wrap them or anything. I just throw them back into the fridge. There is an under-the-shelf rack intended for beverage cans which gets no use from us, so that's where we store the lemons and limes, cut and whole.

                1. I leave mine in a glass jar or container, in the fridge. DH leaves his lemon half, cut side down, on a plate on the counter.
                  We've not experienced any increase in bitterness, or aftertaste.

                  1. I have several lime/grapefruit/orange/lemon trees and use the fruit constantly.
                    In the morning I'll cut up a few limes or oranges or lemons for sparkling water…small slices left on a plate and sometimes they're left on the counter with nothing covering them…using them throughout the day. I can't think of a time when I've refrigerated anything…
                    Never have I had a partially used fruit go bitter.

                    1. I've never noticed this... I wonder if you're particularly sensitive to the lemon pith and when you're cutting it, the bitterness is dragged across the fruit. (I find the peels EXTREMELY bitter.) How about freezing the other half of the fruit?