Dietribes: Lemons


"¢Â It's lemon-season! Well, truthfully, it's always lemon season: trees bloom continuously, and can produce up to 600 lemons in the course of a year.

"¢Â The word "ascorbic," as in ascorbic acid (the name for Vitamin C), means "no scurvy." Makes sense, because when life hands you scurvy you should make ... lemonade!
"¢Â The demand for lemons and their scurvy-preventing properties hit a peak during the California Gold Rush of 1849. Miners were willing to pay huge sums for a single lemon. As a result, lemon trees were planted in abundance throughout California.

"¢Â Want to get the most from your lemon? Microwaving them on high for 15-20 seconds softens them for squeezing.
"¢Â Apparently, lemons can tell you a lot about your personality. The amount of saliva you produce after putting a drop of lemon juice on your tongue might tell if you are an introvert (a lot of saliva) or extrovert (not so much).

"¢Â As anyone who has watched "MacGyver" (or even "Breaking Bad") knows, you can usually make whatever it is you need with whatever you have lying around (if you're a brilliant chemist or someone of the like who understands how they all work together, that is). In this experiment, it's proved possible to make a battery out of a lemon. In fact, here are 34 other uses for lemon-use around the house.
"¢Â Lemons can, however, go out of style: "Lemon yellow" was discontinued as a Crayola color in 1990.  Soon after, the ''National Campaign to Save Lemon Yellow,'' was organized by an Alexandria, Va., woman who submitted a petition with 200 names (but couldn't save the color).
"¢ A lemon carved to look like a pig was presented to President Hayes and later featured in an exhibit at the Herbert Hoover presidential library titled, "Weird and Wonderful: Gifts Fit For a President." Museum director Richard N. Smith said at the time, "It looks a little like you'd expect a 110-year-old lemon to look." While she may or may not have been the inspiration for the bizarre gift, Hayes' wife, Lucy, was nicknamed "Lemonade Lucy" because she banned alcoholic beverages at state functions.

"¢Â Did any of you Flossers have a lemonade stand when you were a kid? Times are getting tough for the business: "Julie Murphy, a 7-year-old Oregonian, set up a lemonade stand on July 29 at an art fair in northeast Portland. County health inspectors shut her down, however, telling Julie and her mother, Maria Fife, that they needed a temporary restaurant license, which costs $120. The penalty for selling food without a permit, they warned, was $500. At 50 cents a cup, that's a lot of lemonade!"

"¢Â Finally, a nod to the zeitgeist popularity of videos of babies eating lemons.

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.