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Old 09-02-2011, 08:52 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1
Cooking with lemon - white part - bitter or not?

I have always been confused about cooking with lemons. I use zest & juice often - however, it has been my experience that adding sliced lemons at the last few minutes of a Picata sauce brought out the bitterness from the lemon's white pithy part. Yet I have come across several recipes that use the whole lemon - even putting a whole lemon in the food processer to make a puree. Please explain what I might be doing wrong.


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Old 09-02-2011, 10:57 AM   #2
Sous Chef
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 534
theory holds that the pith of most citrus tends to be bitter.

there are recipes for preserves, etc., that use the pith - and there's a Greek specialty of "candied" lemon pith - but from a variety of very large lemons with a very thick pith layer - had it years ago but never tracked down the recipe or type of lemon used.

one could suspect that different varieties are more or less bitter. I've also used whole slices, not noticed any pronounced effect. wonder if higher cooking temps would bring out the bitterness of a whole slice?

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Old 09-03-2011, 02:49 PM   #3
Senior Cook
Join Date: Oct 2010
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I'm not really sure what the rule is when it comes to the pith of lemons. I like to add slices of lemon to the pan when i'm roasting chicken, seems to crystalise and has a nice sweet/ bitter balance to it.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:11 AM   #4
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If in doubt, add a little sugar on the lemons when cooking or make your own preserved lemons as in Moroccaan cuisine. They are really easy to do, create no waste and no bitterness.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:04 PM   #5
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Location: Pennsylvania
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I really haven't noticed an extremely bitter flavor when cooking with lemons. I do it quite frequently. If there is I must like it.
Happy Cooking!!

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cooking, lemon

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