The slice-of-sunshine perfection of fresh lemon―juice or zest―puts a little extra bounce in the step of any cook. By: Jason Horn
1. Please handle the fruit.
Most lemons are Eurekas or Lisbons. Eurekas have somewhat thicker rinds, but regardless of variety, look for a lemon that feels heavy in the hand and which, gently squeezed, gives nicely and doesn't seem to have a thick, hard rind (less juice inside). Lemons turn from green to yellow because of temperature changes, not ripeness, so green patches are OK, but avoid those with brown spots, which indicate rot.
2. Power in the key of C
One lemon contains a full day's supply of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, but that's the whole fruit; the juice holds about a third. Lemon juice is also about 5 percent citric acid, making it a natural for slowing the browning or oxidation of fresh, raw foods: apples, avocado, bananas, and other fruits. That power, and the C, makes the lemon a real health fruit.
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