Facts & Folkore:
The origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in Assam (a region in northeast India), northern Burma or China. A study of the genetic origin of the lemon reported it to be hybrid between the bitter orange (sour orange) and the citron.
The first substantial cultivation of lemons in Europe began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century. The lemon was later introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World helped spread lemon seeds.
In ancient Greece lemons were used for both culinary and non-culinary purposes. According to Greek mythology oranges and lemons were symbosl of richness and love. It was also believed that if you wanted to have sweet dreams you had to put some dried lemon leaves in your pillow just before you went to sleep.
In 1747, James Lind's first experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy involved adding lemon juice to their diets, though vitamin C was not yet known.
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