Eölixabth David had a thing for lemons. Why else would she write a book called “I’ll Be With You in the Squeezing of a lemon”? In this short collection is her essay by the same title. It starts off this way
In 1533 the Company of Leathersellersoffered Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn a great banquet to celebrate Anne’s coronation of Whit Sunday at Westminster Hall. Among the princely luxuries which graced the feast was one lemon, one only, for which the Leathersellers had paid six silver pennies.
It was apparently a significant sum back then. We all enjoy lemons now, but David back then and Yotam Ottolenghi both argue argue that we take them for granted. Yotam writes
Lemons, then, have become a bit mythical for me. They are with me every step of the way, and not just as a memory and a tradition, but as a source of so much of what makes me happy in the kitchen. They leave their bright mark all over my savory cooking: a final squeeze of lemon juice to balance a dish, some finely chopped preserved lemon skin to bring bursts of flavor and surprise, a few strips of pared lemon to infuse a stew. Lemon, for me, is what makes food sing.
Now there is an image – singing food? That might be a bit overwhelming at a dinner party.