Just how monstrous can a lemon be? Would a lemon that was, oh, say the size of a baseball, be considered monstrous? Not in my book. I'm hard core when it comes to rating mutant citrus. That's why, when I went to a good friend's house for a pup play date yesterday, I wasn't expecting much from her so-called giant lemon tree.
She had recently moved and this was the first time that Camila Pup and I had been to visit her new digs. We had heard about the big back yard with its fig and citrus trees, but I wasn't at all prepared for actual monster lemons. Just look at the size of these things!
But what in the world are they really? They look and smell like lemons, but are the size of pineapples!
Turns out that they are called Ponderosa lemons, or five pound lemons. They were created by accident in 1886 when a lemon seedling hybridized with another citrus of unknown origin. That mystery citrus is thought to be a citron. Or it may have been some sort of other-worldly, alien freak. Or perhaps there was just the original lemon tree which was subsequently attacked by radioactive aphids. The resulting fruit was also marketed as American Wonder Lemons. That sounds like a third tier super heroine to me, so I think I'm going with the third theory.
Whatever their origin, the monster lemons do taste like normal lemons. Better in fact, since they are fresh.
So thank you, Carole, for your hospitality to my pup and I. And for the bag full of giant mutant lemons. I think I'm a convert now. I may never go back to the non-freakish lemon.
And for anyone who wondered, Camila had a great play date. And this was the result: