Thursday, 19 May 2011
I bought a citron in Whitechapel Market yesterday. How cool is that!
Usually I look for candied citron before Christmas, to use in cookies and fruitcakes. Here in the UK I can usually only get it in the boxes of Sundora mixed peel, which have a lot of orange and lemon peel and only a smaller amount of citron peel.
I have never come across a raw citron anywhere, although I know they are grown in places like Sicily and Calabria.
I wasn't actually thinking of citron when I bought this green knobbly citrus fruit in the market yesterday. They often seem to have a variety of greenish citrus fruits in the Whitechapel Market. We had bought one, which I think was some type of sweet lemon, a few years ago, but apart from being quite expensive, I don't think it was particularly interesting.
Yesterday quite a few of the stalls had several varieties of greenish citrus fruits, in particular, some small, oval, very smooth-skinned ones, and some larger ones with knobbly skins sort of like the skins of Kaffir limes, except that the fruits were shaped more like large lemons.
I inquired from some of the stall-holders, who said that the small ones were used for juice, while the large knobbly ones had more flavour, and were for eating. So I bought one of each.
When I got them home, it was immediately obvious that the large, knobbly fruit had a very aromatic zest compared to the small smooth-skinned one. When I cut it in half, it had a very thick layer of pith, which is when I thought, 'citron'.
So I was off to the internet and Wikipedia to find out whether citrons were used in Bangladeshi cuisine. Apparently citrons are indeed grown in Bangladesh, and they are eaten raw with rice.
Pictures coming soon.
29/07/2011 Finally I got around to uploading some photos.