Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins II

I brought 2 lemons with me when I came back to my apartment after the New Year's Day. Those were from my dad's orchard, and I was going to use them for baking. (He doesn't use any postharvest chemicals so I feel safer to use his oranges/lemons when I need grated citrus rind.)
And somehow, I completely forgot about those lemons until yesterday. :P

So last night, I did a little net search to pick a lemon poppyseed muffin recipe, and this is the recipe I tried out this time. Mmmm.... not bad, but the texture was not exactly what I wanted. Maybe I should try a recipe that does not call for yogurt next time. And there was another thing... and it was not related to the recipe. It was about dad's lemons.

I'm no expert, so I may be sounding really stupid, but tell me... If a lemon tree has been grown right next to bunch of orange trees, is it possible that natural cross breeding causes the lemons to taste more like oranges? Dad's lemons are much rounder with more orangy skin color, and not as sour as store-bought lemons. And though I added enough rind (grated), these muffins didn't taste lemony almost at all without the glaze. Next time I'll probably try a different recipe with lemons from the Sunday market.

Oh, if you're tempted to say "OMG, obachan! Your poppyseeds are not black!?" see this post. Yes, we went through that stage about a year ago. :)



K and S said...

looks wonderful :) did you use yuzu or lemon?

Anonymous said...

You're right about the lemons growing close to oranges thing. I have the same situation in my backyard, and while the lemons are good, they're just not really lemony.

Anonymous said...

There are also different varieties of lemons. The ones that are typically commercialized are very sour and sharp. Other types are milder and have a much more delicate perfume. Meyer lemons are like that - their skin is thin, smoother and they are more round. A wonderfuly lemon for more delicate dishes or icecream/iced yogurt but not the right lemon for a sharp taste.

Anonymous said...

I donch know about the cross breeding obachan.. but i can always ask my FIL . .on sunday.. and let you know. :)

obachan said...

K & S
Thanks. No, I didn't use yuzu. I used lemons from dad's orchard, and maybe it was a bad choice this time...

So that can happen! Mmmm... Maybe I should tell dad about it.

Different varieties! Yeah, why didn't I think about it? Dad grows 6 to 7 different varieties of oranges in his orchard. Why did I think there's only one variety when it comes to lemon? I'm going to ask dad what variety his lemon is. (But maybe he doesn't know... because it was my grandpa who planted that lemon tree, IIRC.)

Mama Bok
Thanks! I remember him. The rhubarb expert, right? ;)

Anonymous said...

Obachan, the cross-breeding thing is possible, but HIGHLY unlikely. It would take years and years of artificial pollination and other breeding techniques to get any material difference.

My parents also have a citrus orchard and it sounds like the variety of lemons your father has is the Meyer lemon. It is rounder, smoother, and a little sweeter than the typical sour, yellow Eureka lemons found in stores.

K and S said...

sometimes the lemon zest can be bitter. it would be interesting to see how the recipe fares when using yuzu.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

THose muffins look very cute! I bet they tasted really good...



flybynightkarmarepair said...

It does sound like a Meyer(Myer?) lemon. This variety is much sweeter and a little muskier than a typical Eureka lemon. They also have thin and rather tender skin, when zesting them (the rind is wonderfully fragrant) the skin often tears.

Love the blog. It's clear I know NOTHING about Japanese food. Much of what you describe I have never seen, eaten, heard of, even though there is a moderately large Japanese community in my home town.

I found you looking for a Daikon recipe. I tried your Daikon ala mode, and I still don't understand why y'all eat so much of it!!!

Korean Dramas said...

Obachan, I've really enjoyed reading your blog the last few years. I think you should really write a book...if I were an agent, I would ask you to write a book! You have a wonderful, warm, and funny style.

obachan said...

Mmmmm... it does sound like Meyer lemon. I googled quite a bit and found that they do grow Meyer lemon trees in Japan recently. But the lemon tree in dad's orchard was planted by my grandpa (I think) and I'm not sure if Meyer lemon seedlings were available at that time...

K & S
Yeah, yuzu would be nice, too, except they are much more expensive than lemons even here in Kochi where yuzu is the local specialy.

Thanks. They were OK, but not exactly what I wanted. Thus my quest shall continue... :P

Hi. Thanks for your comment. Yeah, it really sounds like Meyer lemon.
I'm going to ask dad when I see him next time.

Also thanks for trying out my daikon recipe. I'm not sure which one you tried, but I can understand that it may taste strange to those who are not familiar with Japanese dishes. I myself didn't care for daikon when I was a kid and I carefully avoided it everytime I ate a hotchpotch dish. I gess I grew on it in my late twenties.

Maybe -- I'm not sure but maybe -- for Westerners, the combination of smoked salmon and daikon could be easier to handle, like "smoked salmon and thinly sliced daikon marinade" or "smoked salmon wrapped with thinly sliced daikon." Daikon is said to contain a good amount of diastase, so that may be part of the reason why we Japanese crave for them once in a while as we get older. Hahaha...

Wow, thank you so much for such an overwhelming compliment! But I don't think anyone would want to spend any money to read my "Engrish." Tell you the truth, in the past few years, I've been asked to submit articles or answer questionnaires by several foreign publishers or bloggers, but except for a few exceptions, I never heard from them after I sent them my submissions... not even a "thank you" email. ;)

Anonymous said...

What beautiful muffins, obachan! I love the combination of lemon and poppy seeds.

cavacavien said...


obachan said...

Me, too. And I think blue poppyseeds look better in muffins.

Enjoy! :)