08 March 2015

The Lemon

Believe it or not, I feel almost exactly the same way about lemons as I do about limes: I would like to have more lemon wedges in my drinks, but I often feel that the amount of energy I have to put into the task is not worth the benefits of the results. I find lemons to typically be more difficult to wedge than limes, which I assume is in part because they're larger and more oblong, but also because they have those hard little nubs at either end and I am always afraid that I will put too much pressure to try to get through the nub and then I will cut myself (which has probably happened to me several times, and has probably happened even more frequently to my mum because she cannot go a single day without cutting herself on the constant influx of brand new Victorinox knives that she always insists on buying at the Rock Creek General Store).

Does anyone remember this awesome shirt I got at the Grand Forks
Thrift Shop, circa 2002? I would have paid almost any amount for it,
but the woman let me have it for free because she thought it was too ugly
to be sold for money. She told me that if she had found it first, she would
have thrown it out. It breaks my heart to think of how many gems might
have been lost at the GF Thrift due to overzealous and out of touch staff.

Some of my suffering is offset by the fact that I almost always have RealLemon lemon juice on hand. It's pretty good, and I don't like when people are such lemon snobs. First of all, RealLemon tastes more or less like real lemon—especially when all you're doing with it is adding a few drops to soda water—and second of all, if you just use lemon juice, you don't get all of that annoying pulp and those annoying seeds. I know that RealLime also exists, but ... I don't know. For some reason I can never bring myself to buy it.

I guess it might be worth mentioning to say that I actually really don't like lemon flavouring in most things. I really hate when baked goods have a hint of lemon flavour. Sometimes I will see a cookie—like some sort of chocolate chip cookie or something—and it will look amazing, but then you bite into it and it kind of tastes like lemons? I hate that. There was no reason for me to expect that that cookie would taste slight like lemon, and if I had known that it would, obviously I wouldn't have eaten it.

And I hate lemon zest. I hate seeing those tiny little curls of skin.

The lime and the lemon share more
Than the common family name Rutaceae:
Wedging either is a total chore
And it's more work than I'm willing to apply.


  1. "Tell her to cut the little nubs off" - mum

  2. Ok but seriously. I can't get over the hidden message here, which is what a lemon that Rock Creek shirt was. I never understood why you liked that thing.

    1. What? Because it's a Rock Creek t-shirt. And it sums up the entirety of Rock Creek more precisely than anyone or anything has ever done before or since.

  3. I'm sorry; I have been silent long enough. "Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence." [Henri Frederic Amiel] There is only one nub to a lemon -- on the end opposite to where the stem attaches the lemon to the tree. There is no nub on the stem end, just a slight bump. I'm not a snob about lemons. But the fact is that anyone who actually tolerates RealLemon, much less prefers it to a real lemon, should not be allowed to be the editor and publisher of a gastronomical blog, or even contribute to it. The only difficulty a tyro lemon slicer might encounter in the performance of his or her extremely simple task, is keeping the knife (Victrianox or any other) away from the little green stem remnant at the stem end of the lemon. The nob, or nub, is at the other end and does not pose any problem. The stem remnant can be just flicked off with a stroke of the thumbnail. The other thing you could do to avoid any nub or nob difficulty is what any citrus connoisseur does before wedging the lemon (or lime, or orange, or cumquat etc), namely take your knife (preferably a serrated Victorianox lemon-specialty knife) and cut off the tips on both ends. You don't even have to look and see which end has the stem on it. Just cut them both off. Easy as pie. Lemon pie. Lime pie. Any kind of pie. Just deal with it as if it were a watermelon or a cantaloupe or a honeydew. Exactly the same principle -- just a smaller piece of fruit.

    And I hate to say it, but your disaffection for lemon zest is absurd. Lemon zest is the best argument ever put forth for the existence of God. How else could something so good be brought into the world? Do you make your lemon chiffon desserts out of RealLemon? Your lemon-poppy seed muffins? Your faux chocolate chip cookies?

    Of all the Herculean jobs
    I've ever had in all my life,
    The cutting off of lemon knobs
    Is fullest of fun and freest of strife.
    Deliver us from citrus slobs
    Who can not cut around the knobs.