The lemon is a yellow citrus fruit, oval in shape, with a strong scent and acid-flavoured pulp. It grows in Mediterranean and sub-tropical climates and the two largest producers are Italy and the United States. The fruit is harvested when it is green and stored until it has ripened.

Lemon juice contains a large propor-tion of citric acid – this makes the fruit unpleasant to eat whole, but it is of the greatest value in cooking. Lemon juice and lemon rind are both used extensively in cooking as flavouring agents, and in lemonade. They are also added to jam made with fruit that is low in pectin, as they help the jam to set. Lemon juice is often used to replace vinegar in making salad dressings.

Lemon juice is a rich source of Vitamin C and the juice of one lemon mixed with a little water and sugar makes a refreshing drink to start the morning.