This is a Cedro lemon sitting on my butcher’s block beside a standard size lemon. It’s, um… big. This huge, sweet lemon is native to Sicily and is most commonly used for salads. Really. I bought this one at St. Lawrence Market but have seen it in other fruit markets since, labelled as a “salad lemon”. They’re meant to be thinly sliced and added to salads, and some people sprinkle them with a bit of sugar and/or salt.
The unique thing about the Cedro is that the actual area of pulp is the same as a regular lemon. All of that extra space is spongy pith. Unlike other citrus fruit, however, the Cedro’s pith is sort of sweet and not bitter.
I had the idea that I would candy the Cedro. But I wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to discard the pith and just used the fragrant outer peel (the Cedro smells like a cross between a lemon and a bergamot) or use the whole thing. I had little luck searching out recipes, and a couple people on Twitter pointed me to a David Lebovitz recipe for candied peel. But I had this idea that I wanted to to do thin cross-section discs so that the pulp in the centre would look like stained glass and dry to an almost crunchy consistency.