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Eureka Lemon and Lisbon Lemon: Kitchen Basics

Lemon Eureka
Eureka lemon

The Eureka lemon and the Lisbon lemon are two bitter-flavored lemons.

The Eureka and the Lisbon can be used to flavor both sweet and savory dishes. They can be used in sauces or as an accompaniment to fish and poultry. They can be used in baking and desserts, and their slices or wedges can be used as a garnish.

The juice of the Eureka and Lisbon lemons can be used to tenderize meat, as a substitute for vinegar in dressings, and as a flavoring in drinks.

The zest of the Eureka and Lisbon lemons—the yellow part of their peel—can used to add flavor when cooking and baking.

The Eureka and Lisbon lemons are so similar in flavor, aroma and acidity that they sometimes are lumped together in marketing.

But they do have their differences, and there are ways to tell them apart.

The Eureka lemon is more knobby and thicker-skinned than the Lisbon. The Eureka has a short neck at the stem end.

The Lisbon lemon is smoother and has a thinner skin than the Eureka. The stem end of the Lisbon does not have a neck, but the opposite end—the blossom end—tapers to a slight point.

The Eureka contains some seeds while the Lisbon is usually seedless.

The Eureka lemon contains a moderate amount of juice, and the Lisbon lemon contains more juice than the Eureka.

Both the Eureka and the Lisbon are grown primarily for their acidic juice. They are often contrasted to the Meyer lemon which has a sweeter-mild flavor. (The Meyer lemon is not a true lemon but a hybrid between a lemon and either an orange or a mandarin and therefore has lower acidity and less bitterness.)

Eureka and Lisbon lemons ripen naturally in the fall and winter. You will find them fresh harvested at your farm market now.

Choose. Select lemons that are close grained, bright yellow in color, and have a shine to their skin. Lemons should be plump and firm and heavy for their size. Heavy, thin-skinned lemons will contain the most juice.

Lemons that are tinged green tend to be more acid and will not contain as much juice. Avoid lemons with wrinkled skin or those with soft or hard patches. They will be over mature. Dull skinned lemons are no longer fresh.

Store. Eureka and Lisbon lemons can be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (The Meyer lemon will keep for 1 week.) Lemons stored at room temperature will keep for about 1 week. The juice and zest of lemons can be frozen.

Lemon flavor affinities. Artichokes, capers, cumin, fennel, fish, garlic, mint, poultry, raspberries, shellfish, thyme.

Prepare. Lemons are rarely eaten raw. Use lemon juice to replace vinegar in dressings, to marinate and tenderize meat, poultry, fish and game, and as a thirst quenching ingredient in teas and other drinks.

Lemon zest can be used as a flavoring in meats, sauces, desserts.

Lemons can be used as a substitute for salt.

Kitchen tip. The ascorbic acid in lemons can be used to prevent the discoloring of the flesh of fruits and vegetables that oxidize when exposed to the air. Rub the cut surfaces of low acid fruits and vegetables—such as bananas, peaches and avocadoes– with lemon juice to delay oxidation and darkening.

Nutrition. Lemons are very rich in vitamin C and also provide potassium and folic acid.

Lemon facts and trivia. It is thought that lemons are native to northwest India where they have been in cultivation for more than 2,500 years.

Arab traders in Asia carried lemons to eastern Africa and the Middle East between 100 and 700 AD. Arabs introduced the lemon into Spain in the eleventh century. Crusaders returning from Palestine spread the lemon across the rest of Europe.

The lemon came into culinary use in Europe in the fifteenth century, and Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to the New World in 1493.

The botanical name for lemon is Citrus limon.

Also of interest: 

Oranges for Backyard Gardens

Eureka Lemon and Lisbon Lemon: Kitchen Basics

Sweet Meyer Lemon: Kitchen Basics

Lemons: Kitchen Basics

How to Preserve Lemons

How to Grow Citrus

Citrus Tree Pruning

Lemon Juice

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8 Comments

  1. I live in Oceanside, CA and a couple days ago was given Eureka lemon tree roughly 5 yrs old (8ft) with many lemons, however the tree was dug about 2 feet in diameter from the stock, many of the larger roots were cut, it was planted roughly 2 hours later in a hole about 4ft in diameter and 2-3 ft deep. We used rich top soil and compost with a little perlite. Our ground consists of compacted hard DG.
    Do you think it will be ok?
    When should I fertilize?
    Should I add anything to help with shock?
    Any recommendations? Thank you

  2. Your Eureka lemon is likely a dwarf variety and at five years nearing its full height and just coming into its own bearing fruit. Transplanting a fruiting citrus is difficult. I would suggest that you pick the lemons now on the tree so that the tree does not struggle with fruit production while it recovers from its transplanting. With large roots severed, it is likely you will lose this year’s crop anyways. To counter transplant shock, feed the tree with seaweed extract, about 1 tablespoon to a gallon of water, and water at the drip line. As well you can give the tree a slow-acting organic fertilizer: bonemeal and bloodmeal (follow the directions on the box) will provide the tree with the calcium, magnesium, and nitrogen it needs now. Mulch around the tree with a well-aged compost and keep weeds or grass from growing nearby–they will take water and nutrients from the tree.

    • Watering at the dripline of a cut rootball is incorrect. First off, you need to water at the rootball’s CUTLINE, and secondly prune back branches a bit to 1) reduce carb load on said roots, and 2) bring dripline and rootball more into alignment.

  3. I am planning to harvest Eureka Farm for commercial production in North west of Pakistan. I have heard that Eureka Lemon starts Producing lemon in July But i am not sure about it. There is a high demand of Lemon in July because of Ramadan( religious fasting month), can you confirm the month it will be ready for market?

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