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.
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