Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Shrimp13 Review; True Lemon

True Lemon is crystallized citrus made from the juice and oil of the fruit. Their company mythology includes a chef who evidently found citrus fruit inconvenient. It's not. But it is a fresh agricultural product. The quality is inconsistent (read a lime with no juice in it or lemon with not enough acidity) and given time, it will go bad. A lot of fresh fruit goes to waste.

My box from True Lemon arrived a couple of days ago. It contained shakers of True Lime and True Lemon for cooking, packets of True Lime, Orange and Lemon for beverages and cooking, packets of True Lemon and Orange for water and packets of True Lemonade, original and raspberry.

The lemonade is sweetened with stevia. I tried stevia in my coffee once and never gave it another chance. Like honey, stevia does not complement coffee. Not true for lemonade. This stuff is totally convincing and nicely balanced.

True Lemonade in a Tru Blood glass. Poetic, no?
If low calorie, all natural water add-ins are your thing, you'll like this.

The True Lemon packets for water were less thrilling but I might have ruined my palate tasting all the other products. It is indeed a citrus flavoring for water. I don't flavor my water with citrus so this product is not not aimed at me.

We compared the packets for beverages and cooking with lemon and lime juice and zest. It was fun.

Lemon and lime zest was more vegetal, especially the lime. The juice had more zing in the fresh version in both cases. That being said, for culinary use the True Citrus products really shine. They are more consistent and than fresh fruit and they don't go bad in the fridge. I will always use key limes in my salsa and lemons in my lemonade but for adding some citrus flavor at the end of a dish to peak up the flavor, this product is great.

If you know me IRL, you know that I eschew processed foods as much as I can. I buy ingredients as much as I can. I don't drink soft drinks other than the occasional iced tea. On the other hand I am always down for a product that can add some flavor to an other wise bland and grey tasting dish. Bouillon cubes, bouillon, season salt and various fermented soy or fish based things are all part of my larder. If there is a True Lemon product I will continue to keep in my pantry, it is the shakers. The best thing about them is that True Lemon tastes like lemon, not like Pledge.

Bobby Flay has said that when he thinks a dish is still missing something, it's usually chipotle. I could see the shakers being that thing for me. (Now I'll have to be careful I don't become the "lemon guy") I used it on chicken, baked and fried, before cooking.

Chicken baked with season salt, pepper and True Lemon
Mr. Flay also has said that when you use an ingredient in the name of the dish (lemon chicken), it better taste like that ingredient. True Lemon allows you to make sure it does.

I used True Lemon at the end of assembling my tomato chicken salads.

It added a great lemon note that complimented the oregano and garlic nicely.

To sum up;

- You'll like True Lemonade if you're that way. It is totally convincing.

- The packets for water are fine.

- The packets for beverages and culinary taste great if not exactly like fresh citrus. Plus they are way more consistent and don't go bad.

- The shakers are a great product that I would use in my kitchen for peaking up dishes and any citrus use when fresh ones are not at hand.


1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. I use True Orange in my water because our city changes the taste of the fresh water at least twice a year. My husband says "the lake turns" (whatever that means) but I don't like the taste then. The True Orange makes the water taste the same year round. When I travel and the tap water is harder or softer or more metallic tasting the flavor of True Orange hides the bad taste. Then I can still drink tap water without buying all those plastic bottles!