Dried lemon peel is a yellowish beige-brown, dried citrus fruit zest that is commonly used as a spice in cooking. It has a distinct, bright and tangy aroma that is characteristic of fresh lemons. In its dried form, the lemon peel is used to add a tart and citrusy flavor to dishes.
The taste of dried lemon peel is tangy and slightly bitter, and its flavor profile can change when it is heated or when it is cooked for an extended period of time. When used in cooking, dried lemon peel is most commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It adds a bright and tangy flavor to a variety of dishes. It is often used in slow-cooked stews, such as chicken or lamb tagine, to infuse the dish with a burst of fresh citrus flavor. Rice dishes, such as lemon rice or biryani, also often include dried lemon peel. In addition to main courses, dried lemon peel is used in a variety of other dishes including seafood dishes, salad dressings, yogurt dips, sauces, pickles, and baked goods.
Dried lemon peel is often used in recipes as a substitute for fresh lemon zest or juice. The dried lemon peel is usually added to dishes early on in the cooking process to allow the flavor to infuse into the dish. In some cases, the dried lemon peel may need to be softened or rehydrated before use, but this is not always necessary.
It is important to note that dried lemon peel should be used sparingly, as too much can result in a bitter taste.
Tangy, slightly bitter
Bright, tangy scent
Yellowish beige-brown, dried citrus zest
herbs (such as thyme or basil), spices (such as cumin or coriander), garlic, ginger
Adds bright, tangy flavor to sweet and savory dishes including baked goods, sauces, teas, meat dishes, rice dishes, and sweets
PROCESSING / FORM
1 oz (28 g) per 1/2 cup
Grinding the dried lemon peel into a powder before using can help to release more intense flavor. Dried lemon peel pairs well with other herbs and spices, such as thyme, basil, cumin, coriander, garlic, and ginger, for a well-rounded flavor profile. Dried lemon peel can be quite strong, so be careful not to add too much and end up with a bitter taste.
Some recipes may call for rehydrating dried lemon peel as a step in the preparation process. For example, if you are making a dish that requires a fine chop or mince, rehydrating the lemon peel can make it easier to chop. Additionally, rehydrating the dried lemon peel can help to release the bright and tangy flavor more effectively, resulting in a more flavorful dish.
Lemons are believed to have originated in northeast India, but they were first cultivated in large quantities in the Middle East. From there, they spread to the Mediterranean and then to Europe, where they became a staple in cooking and were often used to preserve food.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, lemons were considered so valuable that they were used as currency. This was due to the fact that lemons were rare and difficult to come by, and their ability to preserve food made them highly sought after. Sailors on long voyages would take lemons on their ships to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C. The high value of lemons led to the expression "worth its weight in gold," and lemons were often used as a form of payment or traded for goods and services.