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197 × 120 × 14 mm
144 pages
56 illustrations, 40 in colour
01 Sep 2012

Lemon A Global History Toby Sonneman

You can squeeze it, zest it, slice it, juice it, pickle it, or even take a bite out of it as Sicilians do. Adding freshness and flavour to food and drinks, this versatile sour fruit, also known for resolving diverse health and household troubles, has long been considered vital to Mediterranean and European cookery and cuisine.

Lemon: A Global History tells the story of the remarkable adventure of the lemon, starting with its fragrant and mysterious ancestor, the citron, adored by the Greeks and Romans for its fine perfume and sacred to many of the world’s great religions. The lemon travelled with Arabs along ancient trade routes, came of age in Sicily and Italy, and sailed to the New World with Columbus. It was an exotic luxury in seventeenth-century Europe and later went on to save the lives of thousands of sailors in the British Royal Navy after being recognized as a cure for scurvy. The last century saw the lemon’s rise to commercial success in a California citrus empire as well as the discovery of new varieties. This book also includes delicious recipes for sweet and savoury dishes and beverages.

‘This unique book traces the history of lemons from their genetic roots in the citron fruit to present day agriculture. Sonneman draws on her experience as a fruit picker and chef to chronicle the lemons lively history, providing a few recipes as well.’ — Foreword magazine

‘this lovely little book is more of an historical account. Along the way, you can expect snippets of recipe inspiration, facts and anecdotes and even a guide to making your own home-made shampoo. A simple but comprehensive tome, perfect for any lemon-lovers you might know.’ — Italia!

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Toby Sonneman is the author of Fruit Fields in My Blood: Okie Migrants in the West and Shared Sorrows: A Gypsy Family Remembers the Holocaust. She is a native of Chicago and currently teaches journalism in the Pacific Northwest, with frequent travels to the lemon growing areas of California and Italy.

Introduction: A Fragrance of Lemons

1. Origins and Obsessions
2. Sicily: Arab Mediterranean
3. Exotic Treasure
4. The Lemon Cure
5. Lemonade
6. To and From the Golden State
7. At Home and In the World

Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements