Also called pickled lemon, preserved lemon is very popular and widely used in Moroccan and in African cuisine. It can also be called “country lemon” or “leems.”
Whole lemons are cut into halves, quarters or they are diced and then they are pickled using brine, salt and lemon juice. Sometimes various spices can be added to enhance the flavor. The lemons are fermented for several weeks or even months. The pulps are often incorporated into sauces and in stews. The peel is the most valuable portion. The flavor of pickled lemons is very lemony and tart.
Pickled lemon is used in many different dishes around the world. The peel is used to flavor some dishes and the lemons can be cut in different sizes or even minced to flavor dishes. Preserved lemon is a primary ingredient in Moroccan cuisine, and is used in a popular dish called “Tagines.” Preserved lemon is also used alongside of other vegetables, poultry, meat and even seafood to enhance flavoring. The pulp or liquid is used in some cocktails such as a Bloody Mary. It’s used to make cocktail sauce in America, when mixed with horseradish. Some cultures use pickled lemon to relieve sour stomach or to treat spleen disorders.
Over the course of history, preserving lemons was a very common practice so that they could be used in every season, or be shipped without spoiling. The recipe for preserving lemons can be traced back to the beginning of the 19th century, where it is found in Indian, American and English cookbooks.