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Most Florida orange trees have lemon-tree roots, while many California lemon trees have orange-tree roots. Wait a minute! How is that possible? Well, citrus trees are made up of two sections: the leaves and branches (scion) and the roots and trunk (rootstock). An orange tree's branches can be grafted into a lemon tree's roots, thus producing oranges instead of lemons. In fact, a single citrus tree, with a botanist's help, can produce oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, kumquats, and tangerines all at the same time. That's a lot of grafting!

Lemons are harvested from the trees when they reach a certain size, and they are still green. They are then stored for up to several months to turn yellow and ripen before they ever reach the supermarket. So-the lemon you buy today was probably picked five to seven months ago.

Cook's Note: When buying lemons, choose ones that are heavy for their size that means they are the juiciest. Don't choose the rock-hard ones, though. To get all the juice out of the lemon, microwave it for 15 seconds to soften it before you squeeze it.

This Lemons recipe is from the Food Facts and History Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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