If you’ve cooked with us, you know we love our lemon zest. There’s nothing wrong with the Lisbon lemons you probably buy at your local super market, but sometimes it’s fun to branch out. That’s when we turn to pink lemons.

Pink Lemons on Eureka Lemon Tree at Limoneira Orchard in California

Variegated pink lemons, like the ones cultivated at Limoneira orchard, are a delightfully eccentric fruit. This citrus is known for its floral tangy flavor and its striking striped skin.

Types of Lemons

The pink lemon was discovered around 1930 among the branches of an ordinary Eureka lemon tree in Burbank, California. The pink lemon is also known as the variegated pink lemon because of its unpredictable appearance.

Pink Lemons vs. Meyer Lemons

Pink lemons are wild variety that evolved naturally. Meyer lemons, on the other hand, were created by crossbreeding lemons and mandarin oranges.

Pink Lemons

Do pink lemons make pink lemonade?

The distinctive pigment of the pink lemon’s flesh comes from a higher concentration of lycopene, the same compound that gives pink grapefruit and tomatoes their color.

Pink lemonade isn’t made from pink lemons. According to folklore, the original pink lemonade created in the mid-1800s got its color from a dubious source: a vat of water used to wash pink stockings. Today, the color in pink lemonade usually comes from red berries, or more commonly, from food dye added to regular lemonade.

That’s not to say it couldn’t be done! The flavor of a variegated lemon is perfect for lemonade, as they’re naturally sweeter than Eureka or Lisbon lemons. Just don’t expect a bright hot pink, natural pink lemonade will have a more subtle hue.

Pink lemons facts

We believe variety is the spice of life. We love introducing you to new ingredients and the best ways to use them. Trying new food isn’t just fun, it also encourages biodiversity—the variety of life on our planet—on farms. Over the course of the last century, crop diversity has declined as national food retail chains have consolidated and demanded less variety from agricultural production. Agricultural biodiversity, which encompasses the genetic variety in crops, helps farmers successfully grow food and maintain sustainable farm landscapes.

Limoneira Orchard & Blue Apron

Today most consumers are so used to a narrow range of choices, they’re less likely to pick out an unusual piece of fruit at the grocery store, even if it was available. We plan to change that. By filling your box with fruits and veggies that aren’t yet grown on a commercial scale, like fairytale eggplants, patty pan squash, salt and pepper cucumbers and pink lemons, we’re helping create demand for an array of delicious yet under-the-radar produce that might otherwise be overlooked. Plus, who are we kidding? Life is way more fun when we’re a little adventurous.

pink lemons quote biodiversity