Citron, sold most often in candied form, is one of the most commonly used ingredients in winter holiday baking. It comes in many colors and with different flavors – all additives intended to enhance it. Citron is commonly used in fruitcake, mincemeats and other seasonal favorites.
1. This semitropical citrus fruit looks like a huge (6 to 9 inches long), yellow-green, lumpy lemon. Citron pulp is very sour and not suitable for eating raw. This fruit is grown instead for its extremely thick peel, which is candied and used in baking. Before candying, the peel is processed in brine and pressed to extract citron oil, used to flavor Liqueurs and to scent cosmetics. Candied citron can be purchased fresh in specialty markets, or with preservatives (necessary for the expected long shelf life) in supermarkets. Either should be stored in the freezer for maximum freshness. Candied citron halves are sometimes available, but it will more likely be found chopped or in strips.
2. Citron is also the French word for lemon; citron vert (VEHR) is lime.