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Lemon Aspen fruit are small, pale green, yellow or off-white in color, depending on the variety. They have long green stems and grow in heavy bunches. The round fruits measure between 1.5 and 4 centimeters in diameter and have 4 or more well-defined ribs. The flesh is a pale yellow and almost translucent with a juicy, succulent texture with a tropical, citrus aroma. The fruit’s small, black seeds are encased within a husk, in a star-like pattern, like an apple. Lemon Aspen fruit have an acidic flavor with a tart, lemon taste and notes of spice and eucalyptus.
Lemon Aspen fruit are available in the mid-summer through fall months, depending on the growing region.
Lemon Aspen fruit are one of the many different types of “bush food” native to the tropical forests of Australia. There are two different, distinct species referred to as “lemon aspen”. Botanically they are classified as Acronychia acidula, or “True” Lemon Aspen or Pigeon Berry, and Acronychia oblongifolia, also referred to as Southern Lemon Aspen or White Aspen. The tropical fruits are found in the wild and cultivation as of 2018 has continued to increase as demand for the fruits has gone up. They are generally harvested slightly under-ripe and are highly perishable, limiting their availability to growing regions.
Lemon Aspen fruit are high in calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain high levels of phosphorus, folate and zinc. Lemon Aspen fruits contain higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries.
Lemon Aspen fruits are used either raw or cooked. Raw, they can be eaten fresh or added to chutneys. They can be used to make syrups, pureed and used as a sauce, or for dressings, marinades, or desserts. The juice of Lemon Aspen fruits can be used to make aioli, flavor liqueurs and other beverages. Use them for making jam, jellies or preserves. They can be preserved in a sugar syrup or sweet vinegar. Lemon Aspen fruits are highly perishable and need to be refrigerated within 12 to 24 hours. They will store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator and up to two years in the freezer.
Lemon Aspen fruit have been used by the Aborigines for thousands of years for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Known as “bush tucker” in Australian slang, bushfood is growing in popularity as Australians realize the health and nutritional benefits of the native foods.
Lemon Aspen fruit are native to the tropical and tableland forests of eastern coastal Australia. They grow best in wet and humid to sub-humid environments. The “true” Lemon Aspen is native to a region reaching from the very tip of Northern Queensland down the coast to northeastern New South Wales. The fruit known as White Aspen are native to an area that ranges from southern Queensland, along the eastern coast of New South Wales and west into Victoria. They were first identified by botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1864. Recent studies and a growth in the popularity of various “bushfoods” have increased cultivation of Lemon Aspen. The primary production area for the fruits is the Atherton Tablelands in northeastern Queensland. Lemon Aspen fruits may be spotted at farmer’s markets in Eastern Australia.
Recipes that include Lemon Aspen. One is easiest, three is harder.
|AGFG||Scallops with Corn, Burnt Butter, Lemon Aspen|
|The Guardian||Lemon Myrtle and Lemon Aspen Mayonnaise|