Who would have believed that there is an actual fruit that tastes like Lemonade! The deliciously juicy and sweet Lemonade fruit is a hybrid of a lemon, lime and a mandarin. It was first discovered in New Zealand in the 1980s however is now grown here in Australia, most commonly in Queensland.
It is similar in appearance to a lime with a glossy, smooth, and lightly textured rind, covered in small oil glands that release an aromatic, bright citrus scent. When young, the rind is dark green, ripening to a bright yellow with maturity which is when they are at their sweetest. Underneath the surface, there is a thin layer of semi-sweet, white, spongy pith. The flesh is soft, and golden yellow, divided into segments, like a mandarin. The fruit may either be seedless or contain a few small seeds. Lemonade fruits have low acidity, allowing the natural sugars found in the flesh to create a refreshing, sweet, and tangy flavour without the sour taste commonly associated with lemons.
This delicious ball of sunshine ready to eat in late Autumn through to late Winter/early Spring.
Meet your Lemonade fruit growers!
Good Harvest citrus comes from the lovely Neil and Tanya Richards who run the Big Orange Café (yes there is a big Orange) at Gayndah. Neil and Tanya are committed to fully organic methods, however as they are not certified organic, you’ll find them listed as spray free in status. There are no fungicides, insecticides or wax dips used on any of the fruit (yes that happens regularly with fruit!).
The fruit is picked when ripe, so no artificial ripening rooms or long-term cold storage. Interestingly this natural process can lead to green tinges on the skin which isn’t indicative of the ripeness but a natural colour variation of the fruit.
What we love about Neil and Tanya’s farm is the way they make the most of natural processes, and also use innovative and integrative practices to support soil and tree health and fruit production. For example, instead of using toxic chemicals to control weeds and grasses, they grow pumpkins under the trees instead! They don’t spray for fruit fly but instead have hanging vinegar traps in the trees to help keep things under control.
Lemonade fruits are a good source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. They also contain calcium to strengthen bones and provide lower amounts of fibre and folate.
Lemonade fruit stores well at room temperature out of direct sunlight for up to a week, but will store much longer in the fridge.
How to use them
Lemonade fruits can be enjoyed raw, juiced and drank lemonade style as a delicious juice, or used in any way you’d use a lemon or lime - they are particularly great in cocktails! If you find yourself with an abundant supply, get into the kitchen and whip up a few jars of marmalade or jam. We personally LOVE using them as a lime alternative in guacamole giving a super cool twist on a crowd favourite.
Lemonade fruits have a sweet, subtly tangy flavor that can be utilised in a wide variety of fresh and cooked recipes. The fruit's flesh can be chopped and mixed into fruit bowls, blended into smoothies, juiced for fresh lemonade, squeezed over guacamole, or used to flavour cocktails as a twist on traditional lemons. In addition to fresh preparations, Lemonade fruit’s juice and zest can be incorporated into baked goods, cheesecake, butter, or meringue, or it can be used to flavour vinaigrettes and sauces. The fruits can also be cooked into marmalades, jams, jellies, and curds, simmered into syrups, or preserved for extended use. Lemonade fruits can be used as a lemon or lime substitute in recipes calling for milder acidity. Lemonade fruits pair well with ginger, herbs such as mint, basil, thyme, and lavender, meats such as poultry, turkey, and fish, other seafood, fruits such as pears, peaches, and coconut, avocado, zucchini, and cucumber.
In short - lemonades are extremely versatile and can add a new twist on your favourite recipes.
Whole, unwashed Lemonade fruit will keep at room temperature for a few days or stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.
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