What You Need To Consider About Lemon Skins Before Roasting Them

Roasting lemons is a fantastic way to add a sweet, tangy zing to your summer dishes. Whether you are pairing them with a protein like grilled chicken or using them as a wow factor in a glass of lemonade, they are sure to impress. However, it may surprise you to know that not all lemons are created equal. Different kinds of this citrus fruit are suited to different culinary uses and depending on the type you use in your recipes, your results can go from delicious success to total disaster.

Lemons with thin skin are ideal for roasting because their skins contain less pith. The pith of this acidic fruit is the squishy, white part of the skin that you see when you slice into or peel one. If you've ever tasted a lemon with a lot of pith, you'll understand why using them is not recommended — it has an astringent, bitter flavor that most people do not enjoy. Thinner skin also allows for a more appealing skin-to-fruit ratio. While the bite of a lemon rind can be pleasant in moderation, you don't want you and your guests to spend the entire meal chewing through one.

Which varieties of lemons you should buy for roasting

Different types of lemons can have different thicknesses of skin. Meyer lemons, for example, are known for their thin skin. However, some grocers may not provide this information as clearly as others. So, how do you identify this citrus fruit with thin skin while shopping? There are a few helpful clues that you need to look out for. The first step is to look at the texture of the skin the next time you're at the grocery store. 

Thin-skinned lemons tend to have even exteriors with few dimples or raised areas. Next, you'll want to use your hands. No need to pulverize them in your fist — a gentle squeeze will give you all the information you need. Thick-skinned lemons will have less give due to all that extra pith, whereas varieties with thin skin will easily yield to any pressure you apply. Now that you're a lemon expert, go forth and dominate your next barbecue with a unique and seasonally-appropriate twist to your favorite recipe.