Lemons in Lebanon


Got  some lemons today. Their fragrance  was reaching my nostrils one foot away…. I asked ” men weyn? (from where?) …”from Saida” I was told. They must have been freshly picked.  I brought a leaf up close. It was heady with lemon perfume. OK. Here is the deal. In Lebanon, the internet sucks or is nonexistent. Technology is archaic. Fine. But anyone can get the best fruits and vegetables on earth. I don’t care if I spend $10 a pound at Central Market or Whole Foods, I am never going to be able to buy lemons that smell of lemons.

It made me think of the prominent role that lemons (and citrus) play in Lebanese cuisine. Lemons are consumed every single day! Squeezed on salads, in soups, in the preparation of hummos and m’tabbal and tarator, in stuffing of grape leaves, zucchini, eggplants, on greens and in stews,  it is the most ubiquitous seasoning in a Lebanese kitchen.

Lemon is the miracle fruit. Aside from its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, the juice of a lemon would also help in constipation and bloating; it has a lot of potassium, is good for the heart. Grab a lemon every day and squeeze the juice. Consume it as soon as possible, either as a lemonade or mix it with olive oil (1 part lemon, 2 parts olive oil) and pour it on any fresh or cooked vegetables. Squeeze a lemon on a bowl of soup.

Well, I think I have made my point.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I am now in Cyprus and the lemon there is dry. So we bring from beirut fresh lemon juice. We use it daily in our dishes.
    Thank you Jumana for the medical information.

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