Real vs. bottled Lemon Juice 

On America’s Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball made this big deal about not liking fake lemon flavor, and then in a blind taste test, ranked an actual lemon lowest. 

I always hear people insisting on using fresh lemons, but I think the difference is not always detectable. 

When I need lemon zest, I buy a fresh lemon. 

When they’re on sale, I buy a fresh lemon.  They dress up water beautifully, and make it pretty, so if I can get real lemons on the cheap, I will buy one or two. But even on sale, they’re $0.50 a piece. 

For all other things, I regularly substitute bottled juice. 

Lemons don’t keep for that long.  I even have a special lemon container, and it helps, but once they’re cut, you have a few days, and even uncut you’ve got a week, two at most. I’ve never tried freezing them (I know, hard to believe), so unless I have something specific planned for my lemons, I go with bottled juice.  I’ll even use lemon juice in water if lemons are out of season.  I just put a few drops in my water.  Not as pretty by a long shot, but still zippy and refreshing.

If I could afford to buy real lemons for every application, I might, but it still necessitates trips to the store to fetch ’em.  So, yeah.  Got nothing but love for you lemons, but I also love my time and money.


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