16 Jun2009

citron2

My heart doesn’t skip a bit that often at local fruit and vegetable stands anymore. After almost 5 years with this blog, my produce antennae have been on high alert for anything unusual, particularly interesting, etc. So when we made our regular stop at the Toscana Farm Stand last Sunday, I was picking out tomatoes when Mrs. MM stepped out of the car to ask what “those humongous things are” and pointing at what looked like misshapen pomelos. The vendor said, “malaking (large) lemon”. Well, I can tell you, these were frigging HUMONGOUS lemons! Asked further for a name, she said “I don’t know” but she did know it was incredibly sour and that folks used the skin with alcohol… OMG! We thought. Could it be? Really? Were these a locally grown batch of famous Sorrento lemons used to make limoncello, that highly alcoholic sweet and fruity drink that Italians enjoy after a meal? I mean, just take at look at the size of these mommas beside a regular sized green pepper and tomato in the photo above!

citron1

Thinking we had made a rather exciting discovery, I weighed two lemons which came in at a whopping 1.3 and 1.1 kilo each and bought them for a total price of PHP240 or roughly $5. They had a nice but not overpowering smell, rather pockmarked skins and I had visions of serious juice being squeezed from within. When I did my post on Sunday minutes after getting back home, Mrs. MM had looked up Sorrento lemons and we really did think these were Sorrento lemons. However, a little more research and soon it started to dawn on us that these might be citron instead. Several readers have obviously run across this fruit elsewhere in the world, but I had never come across a citron before. I always assumed when buying candied citron that it was another name for candied lemons. Turns our citron are NOT lemons and lemons are not citrons. They are related and part of the vast citrus family, but the have many different qualities…

citron3

If you google citron and Sorrento lemons, you can certainly remain confused until you cut the fruit open and look at the thickness of the rind, the actual absence of much juice in ctirons… Since we didn’t have the right kind of alcohol needed to make limoncello at home, I was prepared to make a fantastic lemon tart of lemon squares if they were indeed juicy sorrento lemons. But when I cut it open, it was almost definitely a citron.

citron4

The taste was incredibly acidic and very dry almost like a bad pomelo. I chopped up the pulpbits and added it to a glass of Pelligrino sparkling water to see if there would be a noticeable flavor but was disappointed. Instead, I cut the rinds and made candied citron instead that turned out very nicely. So I apologize for sounding so excited with the find last Sunday, only to let you down and say it wasn’t what we thought it was… but it was still rather unusual for a fruit and vegetable stand on the way to Tagaytay… :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. pegi says:

    So, I was wrong. My guess was it looked like one of my Meyers lemon ,but when I saw the picture this morning, it was indeed a Citron.

    Jun 16, 2009 | 11:05 pm

     
  2. GayeN says:

    Citron indeed. Makes me think if my mom’s ‘lemon’ is really a citron. The difference is my mom’s ‘lemon’ is juicy and the rind isn’t as thick as the photo above.

    Jun 16, 2009 | 11:47 pm

     
  3. silly lolo says:

    This post is still hot out of the oven! Sorry you couldn’t get Limoncello – a great drink which would have been perfect after that fish dinner. But listen, did I hear somebody asking about the Crbu EB? Well…..Casa Escano has my deposit and Dr. Noel at Cebu Drs. Univ. Hospital is ready to treat me on arrival! Artisan C, you must be a “heavy hitter” in Cebu! These people responded to my emails promptly as if they were ordered to do so. Dr. Noel answered within the hour and it was 9pm her time! Many rhanks AC, bilib na ako!
    Sorry I hijacked your blog again Mr. MM, sir! My daughter chewed me out and told me this is rude behavior. It’s just that I have always been an unruly, undisciplined, free-styler! Besides, I am very old!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 12:20 am

     
  4. Apicio says:

    Other than the observant Jews’ ritual use for Sukoth I read about once, I think they are only used as candied and diced for fruitcake. The glazed ones I get here do not seem to include the rind, only the thick pith (the albedo, technically). One of the readers under the original post mentioned a tree they had that only bore fruit once, well, that was exactly how our tree behaved. I wonder now whether they have a citrus family resemblance to makrut limes in that they become barren, languish in solitude and die when deprived of male companionship.

    In the Chinese mall where I do my shopping, they sell a potted variety that bears fruit that split into distinct fingers. They call it Buddha’s hand citron. These are truly weird and scary looking fruits, nothing close to the five gracious traditional poses of Budha’s hand at all. But coming back to Sorrento lemons, would not the sunny scent have jumped on you if they were indeed lemons. Tsk, now you make me crave a smashing lemon tart.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 1:09 am

     
  5. Maria Clara says:

    Silly Lolo, I can picture the upcoming EB. Aside from the lechon, MM and BettyQ, you are the Centerpiece of the event! You will rock the EB like a rock star giving a sold out concert. My apology for unable to join and I will take a rain check on this. I know, I know I will miss out a lot of fun, yapping and most of all your witty personality. If, I will be in the Bay Area, I will definitely make it a point to meet you in person and will make the necessary arrangements with you to inconvenience you on your part of the spectrum. Just want to stop by your place and say hello and approximately half an hour of humorous chatting. We are planning a Russian River trip in mid October when the weather will be cooler. Will touch base with you.

    Your citrons are really gigantic looking at the comparasion pictures of the mini Hershey candy bar and the lemons.

    Limoncello is a good antidote for eating garlicky food like longanisa and the aftermath of having beans in your food. A shot of limoncello will calm the tummy and no burping garlicky gas or the passing gas at the other end of the plumbing system. You know how Italians love garlic in their food. Limoncello is their antidote.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 1:11 am

     
  6. Martin L. says:

    I have seen this up north This giant lemons are called Perris and grows wild on the islands north of Appari Cagayan

    Jun 17, 2009 | 4:22 am

     
  7. michelle h. says:

    I love Citron Tea from the Korean stores…. so this is what the actual fruit looks like!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 4:34 am

     
  8. nina says:

    I also though citron is a lemon :) I like citron flavored tea…

    Jun 17, 2009 | 4:54 am

     
  9. sanojmd says:

    oh wow.. so the Cebu EB will really push thru? with the arrival of Betty q and silly lolo this is definitely spells fun! i hope i could gatecrashed this EB but im at the land down under. impossible indeed to do so. missing all the fun and the delicious foodies like MM’s lechon and delights by betty q and others.. just post some pics on this blog MM. inggitin nyo na lang kami..lol

    Jun 17, 2009 | 5:30 am

     
  10. Ging says:

    One of my clients gave me 2 sometime last year. They said they were giant lemons. We could not get much juice from them either. My mom planted the seeds, got 3 seedlings but they were eventually gobbled up by caterpillars. Maybe the leaves were more palatable.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 6:15 am

     
  11. artisan chocolatier says:

    Silly Lolo, No worries!!! I’m just a simple small time guy making “kulit” for a world famous Silly Lolo.

    Maria Clara….who’s citron are really gigantic? hehehe…sorry bad joke (hopefully not as bad as Letterman’s).

    So MM, your gigantic nuts were citron afterall..hehehe. I wonder if you drop several of them zest into a bottle of plain vodka for several months, would you get a good flavored citron spirit?

    Jun 17, 2009 | 8:03 am

     
  12. bernadette says:

    I have several citron trees around my garden and one tree has been here eversince I moved in. It has leaves shaped like that of the makrut variety. But for so many years, it hasn’t had any fruit at all, making me think it is “baog.” A lot of creepers have covered its trunk and I even made it my botanical orchids-center (it’s a veritable X’mas tree of orchids!). Just a month ago, I saw two hanging orbs among the branches!—I thought they would turn out elongated (like limes)! However, the orbs are still round and growing like little pomelos! The tree is just outside one of our glass windows so the fruits are constantly being observed. Another interesting feature with this citron tree is that a specific type of butterfly loves to make its “nests”/cocoons in it.

    Jun 17, 2009 | 8:05 am

     
  13. betty q. says:

    Ging: next time your mom wants to plant something and they come up, tell her todo this for the first few months…when the seedlings come up, wrap a foil collar around the base of the seedling…to thwart cutworms that feast on the seedling. As the seedling grows, tell her to make this concoction that when used as a spray on the leaves of the plant, it will P.O. the bugs and any other insect…for every 1 litre of water in a spray bottle, add afew drops of DISHWASING soap (liquid). NOW. if you really want to P.O. the bugs to the max…boil about 1 litre of water. Now, add a pinch of CHEWING TOBACCO wrapped in acheesecloth or pantyhose! Let that steep for a few days. Then add about 1 tbsp. of the tobacco tea IN THE DISHWASHING SOAP/WATER mixture. I can guarantee you that those bugs will leave your plants alone!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 3:01 pm

     
  14. Ging says:

    Thanks for the tip bettyq!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 9:13 pm

     
  15. betty q. says:

    Yup. Artisan. …the citron’s value lies more on the rind. Since there is not much pulp in those thingeys?, the rind is whre the flavour kicks in. …as in Apicio’s Buddha’s Fingers! You need vodka or any clear booze. If the alcohol content is quite low, then you need to steep in longer.

    MM. what did you do with the rind? Cut the whole citron into spears,, remove the white pith and pack them into a nice flippity-flop bottle. The pour the clear booze and forget about it for a month or 2. Oh, Millet, do this with your BIASONG! Also, add some sliced fragrant lime leaves from your tree….

    For the citron pulp (white pith removed and deseeded), you can add them in simple syrup and boil away till slightly thickened with a few lemon juice and zest. For a refreshing cold drink, pour over ice….Millet, works really well with biasong too. Then after you have done them, pour into nice bottles and give away to dear friends with instructions on a nice little card.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 12:07 am

     
  16. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I have not seen a citron that size yet MM and am so glad you featured this….
    Marketman,would really like to attend that EB in Cebu when bettyq arrives…please,please I am raising my hand….

    Silly Lolo,you are so funny…

    Jun 18, 2009 | 7:54 am

     
  17. consol says:

    since limoncello was mentioned, i just want to share this link that i found while surfing:

    http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-to-make-limoncello.html

    Jun 18, 2009 | 9:07 am

     
  18. Marketman says:

    consol, my wife’s cousin is a limoncello monster, she makes the MOST AMAZING limoncello from sorrento lemons… :)

    Jun 18, 2009 | 10:46 am

     
  19. consol says:

    wow! so take out my post na lang, on the condition that ….

    hahaha SAMPLE, SAMPLE !!!! ng limoncello ni cousin ni Mrs. MM :-)

    Jun 18, 2009 | 12:28 pm

     
  20. corrine says:

    MM, how did you candy the citron? The pith looks so thick! Isn’t it that you have to remove the pith? The skin looks so thin!

    Jun 18, 2009 | 6:22 pm

     
  21. Lee says:

    “Alcohol is the cause of, and the answer to all of life’s problems.” Homer Simpson.
    Wash your hands with soap and water and give them a final rubdown with alcohol to prevent the spread of the virus and have a nice little shot or three of limoncello at the first sign of the flu.

    Jun 18, 2009 | 8:22 pm

     
  22. atbnorge says:

    My father used to take some lemons home when he was working as a ranch manager in Nueva Vizcaya in the late 70’s. They were big lemons, maybe half the size of your “find” and very juicy, too.

    Jun 19, 2009 | 5:18 am

     
  23. ingrid says:

    MM, is this the same as the mirinda fruit?

    Jun 19, 2009 | 4:50 pm

     
  24. Luigi says:

    Marilen Espiritu (OV’s wife) has the same whopping size lemons growing over her garden in Baguio. But they are actually lemons. She makes gallons of lemonade during her holiday season lunch every December 28 and serves them to her guests. Then guests get to take home as much lemons as they can pick. They are not acidic or pomelo tasting as you described the above.

    Jun 27, 2009 | 5:20 pm

     
  25. meh says:

    i find this so confusing, because really the word ‘citron’ is simply french for ‘lemon’!!

    Feb 18, 2010 | 12:51 pm

     
 

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