Our guide to what types or varieties of lemons you can find at the grocery store. "Regular" lemons, Meyer lemons, sweet lemons, pink variegated lemons, and seedless lemons are all featured. We will share you the differences in these types of lemons.
I love comparisons.
Putting one item side by side with another item helps you understand more about what makes each thing you unique.
I also love comparisons because people seem to be attracted to my articles where I compare one thing to another (Cuties to Halos, point to flat cut brisket, black to white sesame seeds, etc). So I am just going to keep on cranking out those types of articles.
While it's obvious to everyone that there are different types of apples or different types of grapes in the grocery store, there are also different types of lemons you can buy. Let's take a look at what's available throughout the year.
🍋 What are Regular Lemons?
When I use the term regular lemons I am referring to what grocery store refer to as lemons. The most common variety of lemons are called Eureka and Lisbon. Never have come across a store labeling the lemons differently. The only place you would see them labeled would be at a farmer's market, maybe.
Eureka and Lisbon are close in flavor and appearance. Most people would not be able to tell these lemons apart. Wellness website for the University of California Berkeley describes the physical difference like this:
A short neck at the stem end distinguishes Eureka lemons, whereas Lisbons have no distinct neck but the blossom end tapers to a point. Eurekas may have a few seeds and a somewhat pitted skin, while Lisbons are commonly seedless with smoother skin.
🟡 Meyer Lemons
In 1908 a man by the name of Frank Meyer discovered a lemon in China. It was said to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin. The lemon was imported to United States and Meyer's name was attached to it.
It took a long time for the lemon to become popular. I bet most of you who already know what a Meyer lemon is just learned about them in the last 5-10 years. We have a big thanks to give to Martha Stewart who really gave the Meyer lemon a national platform with her use of it.
🥊 Meyer Lemons vs. Regular Lemons
Let's look at how Meyer lemon differ:
- Color - Meyer lemons tend to be a more orangey shade of yellow. Somewhere half way between orange and yellow.
- Skin - The skin of a Meyer lemon tends to be a lot thinner. Thin skin is one reason why Meyer lemons weren't been carried in most supermarkets until recent times. The thinner skin made them more sensitive to damage while being shipped. Plus a shorter shelf life.
- Sweetness & flavor - The Meyer lemon has some sweetness to it. Now it's not sweet enough where you would want to peel it and eat it like an orange. The flavor of the Meyer lemon is brighter, more vivid. It just tastes better. You can taste the difference when a dish is made with regular lemons and a dish is made with Meyer lemons.
- Cost - Meyer lemons are more expensive. The most common price range I see for a 1 pound bag of Meyer lemons is between $1.99 and $2.99. Sometimes they go for as much as $3.99. You definitely get more lemons for that same price if you buy regular lemons in a bag.
RELATED - When are Meyer Lemons in Season?
🚫 Seedless Lemons
Let's look at some other varieties now. These are less common but are beginning to show up in most grocery stores.
The seedless lemon is just that, it's naturally seedless. Seeds in lemons aren't as big of a deal as seeds in oranges that we eat out of hand. But I have from time to time ended up with a seed or two when I have squeezed a lemon.
You can find bags of them in select stores from the Wonderful Company known also for their Halos brand and POM Wonderful juices.
🍽️ RECIPE - Lemon Poppyseed Sour Cream Muffins with Blueberries
🎀 Variegated Pink Lemons
The prettiest lemon out there is the Variegated Pink Lemon. Even when the lemon turns yellow it still has green stripes. The inferior of the lemon is pinkish in color. It was a natural mutation that was discovered among some Eureka lemon trees.
You could use them to make legit pink lemonade, sort of. The juice actually isn't all that pink. But it would be more natural than lemonade that is sold that is just dyed pink.
🥤 Lemonade Lemons
Our last lemon is one of the most exciting. The Lemonade Lemon is a lemon that is sweet enough that you can actually slice it up and eat it like an orange. Isn't that amazing.
While it's still is on the tart side, its perfectly palatable. In recent years I have seen Frieda's Produce begin to market the Lemonade Lemon and it was available at Sprouts stores in 2022.
You can also make lemonade with this lemon and you won't need to add as much sugar. It's also fun to "trick people" with it. Don't tell them it's a special lemon and just take a bite. See their reaction!
🙋 Have you tried any of these lemons? Leave a comment below letting us know.
I tried Meyer Lemons for the first time about a year ago. The higher price tag had always put me off. Well, consider me a Meyer Lemon snob now! They are so much better than regular lemons, I use them all the time. I have found them loose, but only once or twice - usually they are bagged. And I miss them during the months they aren't available. Has anyone tried juicing and freezing to preserve the juice during the off season?