Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Perhaps the first citrus fruit to reach the Middle East around 700 BCE and the Mediterranean around 300 BCE, citrons are native to the Himalayan foothills. They gave their name to the genus, and their name came in turn from their resemblance to the cone of a Mediterranean evergreen cedar (Greek kedros). The several varieties have little juice, but an intensely aromatic rind that can perfume a room—citrons are used in both Asian and Jewish religious ceremonies—and that has long been candied. In China’s Sichuan province, the rind is made into a hot pickle.