This is the time of the year in south Louisiana when the citrus trees blaze their orange and yellow colors as the cooler temperatures hit. Satsumas, Kumquats, Sweet Oranges, and now my newest discovery — Rough Lemons.
I see many citrus trees on my walks around the neighborhood. One in particular had drawn my attention over past years. It was loaded with good-looking fruit that never seemed to be picked.
The result would then just be fruit rotting on the ground. What a waste.
Long story short, it turns out the owner thought the fruit was “bad”. It took some research and perseverance, but it appears that what had happened is that a sweet orange tree had been overtaken by the “Rough Lemon” root stock to which it had been grafted. Obviously, if the owner was expecting sweet oranges, then lemons would be a surprise! And besides, the tree is loaded with thorns (which is indicative of a true lemon, so that could have also elicited the comment about “bad”). Or maybe it is because they sort of look lopsided and deformed?
We agreed I could have all I wanted, and of course I offered some marmalade in return. (hopefully I can post more about making the lemon marmalade later — stay tuned!)
Actually, it is amazing that these lemons are so large. Almost rather like grapefruit — as well as the taste. Since I like grapefruit, that suits me just fine. The only downside, as I see it, are all the seeds. But I can deal with that (and anyway, they make great natural pectin for the marmalade).
Let me know if you have a favorite recipe for lemon marmalade. I’d be glad to compile a list and try out a few myself!