Sweet lemon, also known as mosambi in India, is a term is often used to refer to a certain type of sweetish lemon, which is a subspecies of the citrus genus and is often referred to by its botanical name citrus limetta. This fruit is edible either in raw or cooked form and is often used in sweet lemon recipes such as fruit salads.
Origins of Sweet Lemon
Sweet lemon origins are unclear, but it was spread from one continent to another by humans. Highly popular in North America this fruit is widely cultivated in California. In the Mediterranean region it is grown in Italy and can even be found in several other tropical countries such as India, where it cultivated in a number of states. In countries such as India this fruit is known as mosambi and is used in various sweet lemon recipes.
Culinary Uses of Sweet Lemon
Sweet lemon look very much like oranges, however they can often be differentiated from oranges by their taste which is either acidic or slightly sweet. Also as this fruit is closely related to limes, they are very often mistaken to be large limes. The taste of this fruit mostly depends on whether it is ripe or unripe. Some sweet lemon recipes such as fruit salads require raw ripe fruit while others specifically require unripe fruit.
Popular Sweet Lemon Recipes
Sweet lemon is often used in various sweet lemon recipes as the central ingredient or as a marinade. The scraped zest of unripe or ripe fruit is often used as a dressing in desserts and can add a fresh summery flavor. Mosambi in India is also used in the creation of squashes and juice. Mosambi juice is an all time summer favorite as it can be prepared easily, and is good for diabetics as it needs only a little sweetening to become palatable.
The juice of the sweet lemon is often used as a marinade for chicken and can be used as a good substitute for sweet vinegar. In addition to chicken various other meats also combine well with this fruit.
Unripe sweet lemon or mosambi is often used in Indian cooking, especially in the making of pickles. In such sweet lemon recipes lime is substituted with sweet lemon giving such pickles a unique flavor.
Cuisines Using Sweet Lemon
Sweet lemon as it is widely available has slowly started making its presence felt in international cuisine. Ripe fruit can often be eaten as it is without added sweetening and many cultures believe that the fruit and especially its white pith aids digestion. In India mosambi based recipes are valued for their cooling effect.
Nutritive Value of Sweet Lemon
Sweet lemon, like its cousin the lime, has high amounts of vitamin C otherwise known as ascorbic acid. This high concentration gives it a distinct tangy bite. The juice of the fruit is considered to be a good weight loss aid as it is low in calories, and can often be consumed without any artificial sweeteners such as sugar.
Buying and Storing Sweet Lemon
Sweet lemon are available throughout the year in tropical countries like India and often do not need to be stored. When unripe fruit is bought, it can be kept wrapped in a room to help it ripen. When buying it is essential to look for fruit that is slightly yellow, heavy and unblemished.