The lemon is of course the fruit of the lemon tree, from the genus Citrus and the family Rutaceae.
The fruit of the lemon is made up of a rough yellow outer skin and a colourless, spongy, bitter pith, with a rather sour pulp on the inside.
A citrus fruit, lemon is full of vitamins (especially vitamin C) and potassium. Lemon trees usually flower and fruit twice a year: the spring bloom produces the best fruits that are picked during the winter, while a second flowering takes place between August and September, with the fruits generally ripening the following spring. So, the best fruits ripen during the winter, as warmer weather makes lemons less juicy.
Lemon is an essential ingredient in a gelato parlour, being one of the basic and most popular hand-made gelato flavours. So it is very vital that you learn to judge the characteristics of lemons and only choose the best ones to make sure you get excellent hand-made lemon gelato: the zest must be shiny, the fruit must be firm and when the lemon is squeezed make sure that the white pith, just below the peel, does not get into the juice.
Hand-made lemon gelato combines perfectly with any other fruit flavours, as well as with creamy gelato flavours, but lemon is an excellent ingredient to use when making sorbets, frozen desserts, granitas and refreshing drinks.