A simple guide to lemons and yuzu
Are yuzu fruits just another fancier term for lemons? No! But I guess you can call them the fraternal twins of citrus with personalities of their own! If you’ve never heard of yuzu before, you might taste it, and think that thing causing your eyes to twitch or your tongue to tingle is none other than a cheeky yellow lemon! But that might not always be the case, so don’t let your tastebuds fool you! That lemon you thought you ate could simply be lemon's soury counterpart - yuzu!
What are lemons?
Native to Asia, the lemon fruit is an aromatic, highly acidic fruit that many, if not all of us are familiar with. Bright yellow, oval, and tapered in shape, these sometimes-smooth-sometimes-slightly-bumpy fruits are a garden favourite among homeowners in many parts of the world! Lemon trees are grown in warmer Tropical climates and are sensitive to strong winds. Their seeds are small and engulfed within the pulp of the lemon. Lemons are juicy, have a sharp sour taste, and are often used as flavour enhancers for meals, dishes, and beverages!
What are yuzu?
Native to East Asia - mainly Japan - and sometimes called the Japanese lemon, yuzu is a highly aromatic fruit that resembles a tangerine in shape - slightly wrinkly with tiny bumps - but takes the colour of a lemon. The seeds are bigger, thicker, and sort of protrude out of the juice sac a little, making it less juicy than a lemon. Put a lemon and yuzu side by side, and you’ll definitely be able to tell the difference - not just from their shapes, but from the big difference in the scent of yuzu that’ll gust through the room (this is one of the ways people differentiate yuzu and lemons without tasting them)! You’ll notice that the aroma of yuzu is much stronger than lemon and is actually soothing!
Grown in the mountainous inland of Kochi City, Japan, where the difference in temperatures during the day and night is ideal, fresh yuzu has a fragrance and taste so distinct that it’s matchless to any other citrusy fruit. It’s sour - almost like that of lime and lemon - with a mix of some bitter, floral, and sweet flavours, sort of like a hybrid between lemons and grapefruits.
What are lemons and yuzu commonly used for?
As the main ingredient or a refreshing touch to a dish or drink, such as lemon pies and yuzu cocktails, chefs and pastry chefs from all over the world have a way of softening and melodising these harsh citrusy flavours into a balanced breath of flavours. Lemons and yuzu are super versatile in that their peel, zest, pith, and pulp are innovatively used in desserts, cocktails, beverages, condiments, and many savoury dishes to elevate their overall taste!
Lifestyle and beauty
Rich in Vitamin C, yuzu and lemons are often seen in skincare because it is said to have great antioxidants that help reduce wrinkles and fine lines, as well as tone skin naturally. The fragrance of these fruits, especially yuzu, is said to be highly calming and relaxing, and is, therefore, often used in baths and aromatherapy.
Incorporating lemon and yuzu into our products
At Lacher, we’ve dedicated two golden-brown tarts to lemons and yuzu respectively because their stimulating flavours are not one to be missed out on. Experience strong sourness transform into gentle kisses of sweet and sour!
Playing with citrus one zest at a time
Whether it’s lemonade or yuzunade (yes, it’s actually a thing!), lemon dressing, or yuzu dressing, it’s undeniable that the flavour profiles of these highly spiky fruits accentuate our food and beverages immaculately! Plus, their stress-relieving ability is always a bonus!