If you’ve cooked with us, you know we love our lemon zest. But this time the lemon in your box looks a little different. Here’s why.
Darren St. Thomas, one of our sourcing managers, spends his days traveling the west coast in search of the most unique ingredients. When he happened upon a beautiful pink-fleshed lemon at a produce convention, he knew we had to have it. That chance discovery was the start of a thriving relationship with Limoneira orchard, who has been cultivating rare pink lemons for the past 3 years. Now the delightfully eccentric citrus is a key component in several of our upcoming recipes—and we couldn’t be more excited.
Discovered around 1930 among the branches of an ordinary Eureka lemon tree in Burbank, California, the pink lemon (also known as the variegated pink lemon because of its unpredictable appearance) is a wild variety that evolved naturally. While the pink lemon is prized for its tangy, floral flavor, its striking exterior, which varies from fruit to fruit, has become its claim to fame.
The distinctive pigment of the pink lemon’s flesh comes from a higher concentration of lycopene, which also gives pink grapefruit and tomatoes their color. Believe it or not, pink lemonade isn’t made from pink lemons, but rather from red berries or more commonly, from food dye added to regular lemonade. According to folklore, in the mid-1800s the color came from a more dubious source: a vat of water used to wash pink stockings. The flavor of pink lemons is actually perfect for lemonade as they’re naturally sweeter. Perhaps with more pink lemon orchards, pink lemonade from its natural source will become a thing!
We believe variety is the spice of life and love introducing you to new ingredients. By expanding your palate, we in turn encourage 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.
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.