When life gives you lemons, make lemonades.
Whoever wrote this proverbial phrase to outline the importance of a positive attitude in the face of adversities didn’t really know much about lemons. Because if they did, they’d never compare them to adversities. Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. They can help boost your immune system, improve digestion, and promote healthy skin.
In this article, we’ve put together a lot of interesting facts about lemons. With fun facts about these citrus fruits, kids will be able to impress their friends with their new knowledge. So, pull up a chair, get ready for some learning, and enjoy these delicious facts about lemons!
Let’s get started!
1. Lemons have the highest citric acid content among fruits
The Citrus family is both large and diverse, with every fruit in it having a high content of citric acid. But do you know which members of this family have the highest citric content? Limes and lemons both top the list, with citric acid making up 8% of their dry weight.
2. Lemons are hybrid fruits
Lemons have been around for such a long time that it’s difficult to imagine them being a hybrid, but they are! Lemons result from cross-breeding between two different citrus fruits: the male citron and the female sour orange.
And because sour oranges are a hybrid (of pomelos and mandarins) themselves, that makes lemons part-citron, part-pomelo, and part-mandarin. Isn’t that fascinating?
3. You can find lemons all year long!
Unlike many other seasonal fruits, most lemon varieties have no specific fruiting season. They grow on evergreen trees and bear fruits all year long. And while some lemon trees might not be everbearing, the most popular ones, including Eureka, Lisbon, and Meyer, certainly are!
4. An average-sized lemon contains about 3 tablespoons of juice
Although lemons are fruits, their flesh isn’t eaten raw like other fruits. Instead, it is their juice that is most commonly used around the world.
Are you curious about how much juice a single lemon could have? Well, we can’t speak for lemons that are unusually large or small, but in any average-sized lemon, you can easily find at least 3 tablespoons of juice.
5. A single lemon tree can produce about 1,000 fruits every year
The average lifespan of a lemon tree is around 50 years, although they can even live to be hundred when well-cared for. These trees start to fruit around the age of 3-5 years (depending on location and variety) and will continue to fruit until they die.
If you’ve wondered about how many lemons you can get from a single tree, here’s your answer: A single tree can produce roughly 600 pounds of lemons, which is roughly equivalent to 1,000 lemons in a year!
6. Some lemons can have pink flesh as well!
Most lemons are bright yellow or greenish yellow on the outside and have pale, almost whitish-yellow flesh on the inside. But what if we told you there’s a lemon variety that comes with pink flesh?
Yes, you read that right. There’s a specific lemon variety called the Variegated Pink Lemon, which has pink flesh. Because this lemon first appeared on a Eureka lemon tree, it is also referred to as the pink-fleshed Eureka Lemon.
Upon maturity, these fruits develop green stripes on their otherwise yellow rind, which also acts as their identification mark.
7. Lemons are long-lasting fruits
For how long can you expect any fruit to last outside of the refrigerator before it starts to rot? For most fruits, this period is anywhere between 2 days and a week, but not lemons. These sturdy little fruits can last up to 2 weeks outside of the refrigerator!
If you want them to last longer, put them in your refrigerator, and they’ll stay fresh for about a month and a half. These qualities make lemons one of the most long-lasting fresh fruits.
8. Lemons are excellent cleaning agents
Since lemons are fruits, you’d think that their major contribution to humans would be through consumption, but that’s only partly true.
While these Vitamin C-dense fruits are indeed healthy for us, they’re also an excellent cleaning agent. Because of their highly acidic nature, they can remove even the most stubborn stains, such as that of wine, coffee, paint, or lipstick.
As a bleaching agent, lemons are almost as effective as chlorine bleach but not as harsh. So, using it on your white clothes can keep them softer and brighter for a long time.
9. The leaves of lemon trees have their own culinary uses!
The aromatic leaves of the lemon trees, which are generally considered merely ornamental, can also be blanched to be used in making teas. In fact, they also provide an excellent covering for seafood or meat that you want to grill, steam, or roast.
10. India is the leading producer of lemons in the world
Although lemons are grown as staple crops throughout the world, the country that ranks the highest in the production of these fruits is India. This Asian country accounts for 17% of the total global lemon production. India is followed closely by Mexico, China, and Argentina.
11. Lemons were first brought to America in the 15th century!
Since lemons had Asian origins, it wasn’t until the end of the 15th century that these citrus fruits were introduced to the Americas. In fact, it was none other than Christopher Columbus who brought the first lemon seeds to the islands of Hispaniola in 1493, from where they were spread to other parts of America.
12. California is the leading lemon-producing state in the United States
While lemon is grown in almost all states of the US, California takes the lead, accounting for 93% of the total lemon production in the country.
13. Lemons were in high demand during the California Gold Rush
In 1848, after gold had been discovered at Stutter’s Mill, California, the state became a hotbed for all fortune seekers. Mines were quickly established, and countless Native Americans were hired as miners to extract as much gold as fast as possible.
A year later, when the gold rush was at its peak, many miners had grown malnourished and were facing the threat of Scurvy (a Vitamin C deficiency disease).
Because lemons were a storehouse of this vitamin, they were far more valuable than gold to the suffering miners, who were ready to pay any money they had for a single fruit.
14. Lemon juice can work as an invisible ink!
Do you want to share a secret note with a friend that no one else can read? We have an incredible idea for you: instead of writing it with your regular ink, use lemon juice.
You can take a painting brush, dip it in the lemon juice, and then craft your message. When you’re done, you’ll notice that not a single word of what you wrote is prominent on the paper. Here’s where the fun part comes in.
The message you’ve written on this paper will be invisible to everyone until heat is applied to it. This can be done using a flatiron. When you move the iron over the paper gently, the message you’ve written with lemon juice will come alive on the paper. Isn’t that ingenious?
15. Lemon juice can work as a meat tenderizer
Does your mother marinate chicken before cooking it for you? If she does, we bet lemon juice is a key ingredient in the process. Wondering why? Lemon juice is highly acidic in nature, which helps break down the meat’s collagens, making it softer and juicier.
16. Adding a few drops of lemon juice can give you perfect, hard-boiled eggs!
Are you fond of poached eggs, or do you prefer your eggs hard-boiled? In the case of the latter, lemon juice can be your savior.
Those who cook hard-boiled eggs on a regular basis are familiar with how upsetting the cracked shell can be. But with lemon juice by your side, you can kiss these cracks goodbye!
All you need to do is squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the container in which you’re boiling your eggs. The highly acidic nature of the juice keeps the eggshells intact as the eggs are being cooked.
Alternatively, you could also apply lemon juice directly to the egg shells before boiling them.
17. Sprinkling lemon juice on apples can prevent them from browning
If you’re a regular apple-eater, then you’d already be familiar with how quickly their slices turn brown. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Here’s why:
After being sliced, these fruits release an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which, when combined with the air, oxidizes and activates the browning process. This process can also be deactivated, but for that, you’d need an acidic juice with a pH level of less than 3.
Lemon juice fits these criteria perfectly and can, therefore, prevent apple slices from browning.
18. Lemon juice can act as a natural hair highlighter
Half of the people who want to highlight their hair shy away from it for fear of damaged hair. But what if we told you that you could highlight your hair naturally as well? No, we’re not kidding. If you’re ready to use lemon juice as your highlighting agent, you don’t need a salon!
The citric acid present in lemons acts as a natural bleach and can, therefore, increase the blonde in your hair effectively. Just keep these things in mind when using lemon juice on your hair.
First and foremost, a one-day use won’t show any results; you need to keep doing it for at least a week. Secondly, be careful about applying the juice in moderation, or it could dry out your scalp.
19. Lemon oil is widely used in aromatherapy
Lemon oil, an essential oil extracted from lemon’s skin or peel, is popularly used in aromatherapy around the world. If you’re wondering what makes it so popular, it’s the diverse properties of the oil.
Studies indicate that lemon oil has a calming effect on people and can potentially reduce anxiety. It is also a natural mood booster and will leave you feeling relaxed and energized.
20. Lemon oil is highly popular in the cosmetic industry
This almost magical essential oil is not only great for your mind but also for your skin and hair. In addition to its mesmerizing fragrance, lemon oil is also highly absorbent and helps control hyperpigmentation.
Lastly, it has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, making it a great addition to beauty soaps, cleansers, shampoos, scrubs, and conditioners.
21. Lemon zest is commonly used in baking
The lemon peel from which its essential oil is extracted can also be grated to make lemon zest, which is a common addition to a variety of baked goods, rice, and puddings. The faint citrus flavor can liven up any dish it is combined with.
22. The largest lemon in the world weighs 12 pounds!
If you were to guess the weight of an average-sized lemon, what would you say? Roughly 4-5 ounces, right? Well, the lemon that has set the record of being the largest lemon in the world is about 44 times this weight!
Yes, you read that right. The largest lemon ever grown in the world was discovered in 2003 by Aharon Shemoel, a farmer in Kefar Zeitim, Israel. It had a height of 13.7 inches and circumference of 29 inches, and weighed 11 pounds, 9.7 ounces (5.26 kilograms).
23. You can make batteries using lemons!
Are you beating yourself up about the science project due at school? Why not present a lemon battery to impress your teacher?
Yes, you read that right; we’re talking about a battery made using lemon. But can fruits really be used to make batteries? You’d be surprised to learn that they can be. All you need to do is find two electrodes (preferably zinc and copper), submerge them into the fruit, and use wires to connect the electrodes to a LED light.
Once all the parts have been connected, the juice inside the lemon will act as an electrolyte, making the bulb glow.
24. There’s a shark named after lemons!
Lemons are citrus fruits, but did you know that there’s a creature in the marine world that’s also named after them? Lemon Sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) are a vulnerable shark species found in the tropical waters in the western Atlantic Ocean. These sharks have been named after their yellow skin, which lends them camouflage while swimming over the sandy seafloor.
25. Preserved lemons are quite popular in Moroccan cuisine
Also referred to as Pickled lemons, the preserved lemons are a Moroccan condiment known for their intense lemony taste with a mild touch of tartness.
Pickled lemons are made by storing whole or diced lemons in jars filled with brine of lemon juice, water, and salt. The jars are then left alone to ferment for weeks (or months in some cases), after which you can enjoy them.
Besides Moroccan cuisine, you can also find these pickles being used in Indian and 18th-century English cuisines.
26. August 29th is celebrated as National Lemon Juice Day
From being used in refreshing lemonades to tenderizing meat, lemon juice makes our lives easier in so many ways. It’s only sensible to show our appreciation for this life-saving juice, which we do on August 29th of every year.
27. France celebrates the Lemon Festival in February every year!
While almost every country in the world benefits from lemons, none of them celebrate it as vigorously as France.
In the French city of Menton, the Fete du Citron (Lemon Festival) is celebrated in mid-February, as winter leaves the country. It was inaugurated in 1875 and has become an annual tradition ever since. The carnival goes on for about 2 weeks, with a fresh new theme every year.
Wrapping it up
With this, we’ve come to the end of our article. Today, we explored so many interesting facts about lemons – their use in the kitchen, as a cleaner, as an essential oil, and so on – in-depth. We also learned some interesting historical facts about these citrus fruits, including their introduction to America and their high demand during the California Gold Rush.
Thanks for reading. We just hope that you’ve found something new and interesting, and we hope that you’ll share this post with your friends, followers, and loved ones. If you get a chance, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our content.