So, you’ve heard of lemons, you’ve heard of lemonade, but did you know there’s an actual lemonade fruit? Chances are you’ve already tried one, although you may have assumed it was just an especially sweet lemon.
This delicious yellow orb is almost identical to a lemon, but is in fact a hybrid citrus fruit - known in botanic circles as Citrus limon. It is the pleasant result of a tryst between a mandarin and a Meyer lemon, although some debate this, claiming that it’s a cross between a grapefruit and lemon.
Like lemons, lemonade fruit are rounded or oval, with bright yellow skin. The tree itself is rather attractive, making it a popular ornamental tree. It is mini-sized in comparison to its larger citrus relatives, with pleasant smelling white flowers and dark green leaves.
This special little tree was first discovered in New Zealand not so long ago, in the era of poodle perms and neon - the 1980s. Like many citrus varieties, it grows best in subtropical areas. That means it does really well in little old NZ.
What differentiates the lemonade fruit from its close cousins? It is much less acidic, making it sweeter and removing the lip-puckering sourness of a lemon. The taste is, unsurprisingly, reminiscent of lemonade. The longer you let it ripen, the sweeter it will be!
There are the usual fantastic health benefits packed into a lemonade fruit - high vitamin C, and lots of other goodies.
This delicious ball of sunshine ready to eat in winter and early spring.
Lemonade fruits can be enjoyed raw, juiced and drank lemonade style as a delicious juice, or used in any way you’d use a lemon or lime - they are particularly great in cocktails! If you find yourself with an abundant supply, get into the kitchen and whip up a few jars of marmalade or jam.
Our lemonade fruit store well at room temperature out of direct sunlight for a week, but will store much longer in the fridge.