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The Eureka variety is available year-round, while the Lisbon is generally available only during the winter months. Firm, heavier, bright yellow lemons are best and should be a little tender to the touch. While fresh lemons are very firm, extreme hardness indicates that the lemon is very old. Lemons with paler skin are more acidic; however, lemons with green patches also tend to be more acidic, too. A rough skin surface usually means less juice content. Smooth-skinned lemons tend to be juicier.


Lemons can vary in size and acidity as well as number of seeds and thickness of skin. Varieties include the Eureka, with a flat stem end and few seeds, and the Lisbon, with a smooth skin and a protruding stem end. Small “baby” lemons are handy when you just want a tablespoon (15 mL) or so of juice.

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