The lemon – everyone’s juicy darling
The lemon, that perennially popular fruit, is a true star in the fruit universe. Few other fruit have been so ubiquitous throughout history and ripe in cultural significance as the lemon. For the German writer and poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe, for example, it was a symbol of a sensual, Mediterranean lifestyle: in 1786, in one of his most famous poems, he describes Italy as “the land where lemon blossoms grow”, conjuring up the fragrant warmth of the country he loved to escape to for months on end. And even now, there are few places where this yellow citrus fruit is worshiped as fervently as the Amalfi Coast in Sorrento. Along this idyllic coastline facing Capri, visitors find numerous shops selling a wide range of lemon-based products and lemons in all shapes and sizes.
In the mid-eighteenth century, as well as being a poetic trope, the lemon also had a practical use, and came to be considered a heroic lifesaver. In an age when sailors feared scurvy more than pirates, a physician in the British Navy, James Lind, came up with the idea of giving sailors suffering from the dreaded disease a special diet. After a few weeks, he noticed that the sailors who were given vitamin C-rich citrus fruits had made a full recovery. From that point on, all ships carried crates of lemons on board, earning British mariners the nickname “Limeys”.
Today, it is difficult to imagine a life without lemons. These versatile fruits enrich so many aspects of our everyday lives, ranging from food to household products, perfumery and skincare. Lemons are eternal favourites, and there are few other fruits that unite people like the lemon. Everyone likes them, everyone needs them. The lemon is truly everyone’s darling!