Discuss

Taste difference between unwaxed and waxed lemons?

  • Sugarcube on Friday, 19th June 2009

    Hi, just wanted to ask if readers go out of their way to get unwaxed lemons and if they are a preference, could you explain way? Someone's told me they have a superior taste. Is that why they are twice the price?

    I'm going to make a lemon cake where I need both the zest and juice.

    Thanks.

  • Message 2. Posted by sueturnersmith on Friday, 19th June 2009 permalink

    If you just want the juice I don't think there's any real difference, but the zest is much nicer on unwaxed lemons.

  • Message 3. Posted by mocando on Friday, 19th June 2009 permalink

    The wax is put on to preserve lemons whilst in transit or storage. Wax should be washed off before the skin is zested. To wash off, use hand hot water and a bit of washing up liquid and a brush, a toothbrush will do.

    Unwaxed lemons are likely to be fresher and, being unwaxed, will have a shorter life so could well demand a higher price. That is not to say that waxed lemons will not be fresh, just that they might not be.

    As said, must wash wax off first if wanting to use zest.

  • Message 4. Posted by Luca on Friday, 19th June 2009 permalink

    It entirely depends on what I want them for. If I only want juice then I'll get whatever lemons look ripe and juicy in the shop but if I am using whole lemons stuffed inside a chicken or the zest of a lemon I will buy unwaxed ones.. also hopefully ripe and juicy! I don't want wax from the rind in my food.

  • Message 5. Posted by Denadar on Friday, 19th June 2009 permalink

    Hi Sugarcube,

    I am not too sure if there is a terrific difference in the taste, but as the wax is a preservative, unwaxed lemons are usually much fresher and also if you are using the zest it is almost impossible to get rid of the wax (heaven knows what it is made ofsmiley - erm) and I wouldn't want to eat the wax.

    I always buy unwaxed as I use the zest a lot and the taste of the juice does seem more tangy. If you have to buy more than you need, you can always freeze the zest and either make a citron presse or lemonade with the juice or freeze that too.

  • Message 6. Posted by Organoleptic Icon on Friday, 19th June 2009 permalink

    I've never been convinced that a tiny thickness of sprayed on wax will even be apparent in taste terms

  • Message 7. Posted by saffiewalks on Saturday, 20th June 2009 permalink

    Been using the zest from rinsed, waxed lemons for years and I am still here. Never noticed a difference in taste.

  • Message 8. Posted by Denadar on Saturday, 20th June 2009 permalink

    Hi, I know the wax is edible but I still wouldn't want to eat it - Also I can tell the difference - the smell of the zest from an unwaxed lemon is much tangier than the waxed. But then I was once told that I have an extremely keen sense of smell.

  • Message 9. Posted by saffiewalks on Saturday, 20th June 2009 permalink

    All I can ever smell is the gin smiley - winkeye

  • Message 10. Posted by barnsleycook on Saturday, 20th June 2009 permalink

    Been using the zest from rinsed, waxed lemons for years and I am still here. Never noticed a difference in taste.

    Same here. I buy unwaxed lemons if I am making home made lemonade or if I want to use a lot of lemons in a short soace of time, but I find unwaxed ones go mouldy very quickly. Normally I only need one or two lemons and waxed lemons come in bage of 5 or 6 so there would be too much wastage.

  • Message 11. Posted by Sugarcube on Wednesday, 1st July 2009 permalink

    I agree that they seem tangy-er than waxed lemons. I never knew the wax could be washed/scrubbed off!

    I think I'll stick to unwaxed - unless my budget is limited at that particular time. Thanks for the replies.

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