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Archive for September 21st, 2010

Preserved Lemons

Passing through Chinatown the other day, I spotted this storefront with Chinese preserved lemons in the window. When I was growing up, almost all of the Chinese homes had jars of salted lemons sitting outside. My grandmother used to live on the second story of a small apartment building. Her jars of lemons would be on the corrugated roof of the attached carport. Whichever grandchild was available would have to climb over the railing and place or retrieve the jars as needed.

Preserved Lemons, Early Stage

As the lemons became more preserved, they would turn dark brown to black and shrivel. If someone had a cold, a lemon would be boiled in water until the water reduced to half. The patient drank the infusion. It was not a pleasant experience.

Preserved Lemons, Mature

As I got older, I learned that the preserved lemons can be used for Moroccan and other middle eastern dishes. I’ve tried braising chicken with preserved lemons. Delicious (sorry, no pictures, the chicken was done before the blog existed).

I preserve lemons a little differently. I don’t have access to large bottles (it would also be too much for us). I will salt two or three lemons in a small bottle. I also don’t leave the lemons to preserve in the sun. I don’t find the shriveled black lemons too appealing. I preserve the lemons in the refrigerator. So far, as long as I keep them in the refrigerator, covered with salt or the juice that comes out, the lemons haven’t spoiled.

I found this website that provides a more detailed instruction on preserving lemons. http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_preserved_lemons/

The storefront also had another bottle of fruit that was being preserved. I couldn’t identify the contents.

Preserved I Dunno?

I think the preserved lemons could also be used for a roasted chicken. Preserved lemons give a whole new meaning to lemon chicken. 🙂

Sorry, the pictures were taken through the window. The window and the glass bottle kind of distorted the color.

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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