1. This semitropical citrus fruit looks like a huge (6 to 9 inches long), yellow-green, lumpy lemon. Citron pulp is very sour and not suitable for eating raw. This fruit is grown instead for its extremely thick, lemon-perfumed peel, which is candied and used in baking. The fingered citron (also called Buddha's hand), which looks like a yellow, multi-tentacled octopus, is also used as a flavoring rather than being eaten out-of-hand. Before being candied, the peel is processed in brine and pressed to extract citron oil, used to flavor liqueurs and to scent cosmetics. Candied citron can be purchased fresh in specialty markets, or with preservatives (necessary for the expected long shelf life) in supermarkets. Either should be stored in the freezer for maximum freshness. Candied citron halves are sometimes available, but it will more likely be found chopped or in strips. 2. Citron (pronounced see-TRAWN) is also the french word for "lemon"; citron vert (VEHR) is "lime."
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
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