What is the teaching in choosing lemons—I know the obvious of picking heavy weight lemons, avoiding a dried-out looking lemon with significant pitting.

I was reading that one must choose thin-skinned lemons but how would u know that without cutting the fruit?

Any other recommendations for getting lemons with a bright, lemony, flavor without so much bitterness?

  • 1
    Lemons are not often described as bitter...perhaps you mean sour? If you are looking for a less sour lemon, you might enjoy meyer lemon.
    – moscafj
    Jun 21, 2020 at 16:14
  • For the bitterness, do you mean the strange taste when you put the lemon into hot water/ hot tea? Or how did you serve/ cook the lemon in the case you found bitterness?
    – Ryan
    Jun 23, 2020 at 11:41
  • 1
    @moscafj I have frequently noticed a bitterness in lemons too, it is not the primary flavor, but it is there.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 23, 2020 at 12:00
  • @rumtscho They are often confused. Trying to make sure the OP is understanding what he/she is asking. See: diffen.com/difference/Bitter_vs_Sour
    – moscafj
    Jun 23, 2020 at 12:11
  • I've noticed with limes that if I store them for a long time, they'll go bitter. I don't know if it's how I'm storing them (in the fridge), how long (maybe a month?) or my poor selection in the first place
    – Joe
    Nov 20, 2020 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


For thin-skinned, you can try pressing the lemon, they are thin-skinned if you can kinda feel the lemon flesh. While if it is thick-skinned it will be very hard to press. (i mean press in a way not to destroy the lemon).

Generally, the deeper the yellow color, the less sour the lemon is, as it is riper. So if there is any pale yellow or green, then it is not ripe enough. All citrus fruits are green while they are still growing on the tree. As lemons ripe, they lose their green color because the chlorophyll pigment is replaced with a chemical called anthocyanin.


For skin thickness: thick-skinned lemons have a specific appearance. They are larger, their pores are frequently larger, and their skin is somewhat lumpy. Pay attention to these criteria before and after you cut a lemon, and you will soon learn to recognize the difference between the very thick skinned lemons and the thin skinned ones.

As for the bitterness, I don't think there is a trick (or if there is, I don't know it). Make sure you are always using freshly squeezed juice, because either storing the squeezed juice or, to some extent, squeezing juice from a lemon that has been stored cut, makes the juice turn bitter. Also, the skin and the cell walls are bitter by themselves, so make sure you are squeezing properly, without getting too much pulp into the juice. But these are variations in bitterness related to the use of the lemon - as for the variations due to the lemon's grown amount of bitter compounds, I don't think you can know it beforehand.

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