Stories of lemons

       

In the corrals / gardens / orchards of houses, urban, rural or modern residential, never missed a lemon tree.

A civil cook, almost secret, Cati Doctor, who does not pursue fame or business and who cooks near the old sea that is seen from Vilafranca and recreates the painter Rafel Joan, made a dessert at the end of his table so tasty: tray of limousine leaves, a fine batter of pasta, fried, on the green appendages of the oriental tree rooted in the Mediterranean. Next, substantive, a lemon cream, a spoon. The delicacy of the leaves had only been seen in old books and one day in IB3 it was seen how a madonna did it in the Foravila de Felanitx, it seemed that it perfumed the pan …

The hot leaves magnetize their vigores and perfumes to the paste of sweet flour. The dessert is the lining, humble and excellent austere snack. The vegetable is not eaten but there are always daring or rare. One day, a journalist came to the newsroom with a present to distribute: lemons from her pen. It is a social classic of friendly exchange: to give fruits of a generous harvest.

Nothing is banal about almost nothing and less about lemon. Tree and fruits are useful, symbolic and necessary history because they create, one by one, a harmonious space, a certain private sky, a closed garden, next to you, in the neighbor, in villas and distant spaces. The lemon trees, articulated, tall or open, scattered, sheltered, small also (or the dwarfed and ordered orange trees), detail the immediate landscape with a dark or bright green, permanent, mottled with flowers and golden fruits much of the year.

Lemon is an argument: it perfumes, it enlivens, it clouds, it heals souls and it transforms food: fish and meat, roasts or salads or black artichokes. Some people do not know how to leave the house without a drink or a glass of lemon juice, or eat fried, baked or raw fish without the dressing. The fish rice (dry rice or paella) asks for a few drops of lemon. There are sauces and cocktails and massive refreshments that seem naked without a slice; the rubbing of the glass or the christening of the cocktail when pinching his yellow skin.

There are mythological dissertations and religious doctrine about this tree and its offerings. Reason for great business is the cultivation and exploitation of almost sacred yellow citrus fruits, object and totem for old believers, Christians of the papal norm or original splits. In Sicily – and in Naples – lemons are a capital that disputes the great league of the global market: the mafia was born of the control and monopoly of lemons and oranges. And great literary and patrimonial pieces are indebted to the mirages and details, to the re-found paradises, to the mirages of lost edenes. From Goethe to Machado, from Lampedusa to the Medici.

There is where to illustrate and choose: a good book by the gardener Helena Attlee (The country where the lemon tree blooms) and always all Josep Pla, a jeweler of the details, now gleaned by Jesus Revelles in Mediterranean cabotage. The disseminating scientist Aina S. (Serra), Erice in her books and blogs, dissects the biographies of the plants. But they are the instincts and senses of the curious person who determine and choose the books.

The lemon juice is antiseptic, marinates roasts or finishes, builds ice creams, creams, slushies, lemonades to drink, eat the fruit in slices or with skin bites when running or swimming. It slows down the internal acidity of the body, lowers the pressure and recharges vitamins. In the native pastry, scratches and skins are inevitable to accent pasta, ice cream or milk drinks.

For that and many more things in the corrals / gardens / orchards of houses never missed a lemon tree. The peoples of the Mediterranean who inhabited the shores of the coast outside the scandalous cold and the salty or icy gales fixed a milestone of their possession on earth with one at their side. From Sicily to Capdepera, from Djerba to Sa Colònia de Sant Jordi, the old summer houses kept the minimum interior space for shade, aroma and yellow fruits.

The lemons are very well painted … they are of a net and graphic gold, they seem to be born for the still lifes too; There are some excellent works and a mediocre tide. The fruits decorate and color the houses. So forgotten and with the groves and harvests lost without the farmers they are in Sóller, Fornalutx, Deyá, while in the large areas they sell the most distant fruits at a high price. In a luxury patisserie the cake and the lemon cake are priced upwards. And for the particular slaughter, kilos and kilos of lemons, juice and skin are necessary to purify the container of sobrasada, the intestines.

These fruits offered as a pledge or reserve last for weeks and those who have made long sailings explain that they are never lacking in the boats, because with the zucchini they are the vegetables without preserves that degrade the least. Maybe that’s why they were considered a symbol of eternity and life, a shield against the threat of death. Antiseptic, it was believed that he rejected the poison.

The artisan factory La Menorquina emptied and froze lemons and filled them with ice cream, decades ago and continues the occurrence in multinational hands. A Majorcan refreshment of opportunity, a lemonade, was born of local fruits: Pep Lemon turned out to be a fleeting story, but the adventure devised by Verdaguer-Riutort was blocked by the similarly named multinational, and the business closed despite having a tam-tam journalistic and political accomplice and generous.

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