Five ways to enjoy the flavours of lemon myrtle
Lemon myrtle is often described as ‘more lemony than lemon’, with some sweetness and cooling on the palate, intense citrus notes and hints of menthol.
This distinctive and intense citrus flavour is ideal to enhance both sweet and savoury dishes, as well as hot and cold beverages. As lemon myrtle has such high levels of citral, which gives its lemon taste, a little goes a very long way.
Here are five ways to enjoy lemon myrtle:
- Herbal seasoning
Lemon myrtle can be used as a leaf or ground to a spice to make a delicious herbal rub or marinade that pairs especially well with roast chicken. It can also replace lemongrass in Asian cuisine and is perfect to marinate pieces of meat for a stir fry or curry.
- Baking and patisserie
The zesty lemon flavour of lemon myrtle is perfect in cakes, breads, biscuits and desserts for a distinctive taste of the Australian bush. It can be used in baking and patisserie to give a clean and crisp citrus taste, without any sourness. Patissiers love lemon myrtle because its low level of acidity means that it will not curdle cream or other dairy products.
- Oils and sauces
Lemon myrtle can be used to flavour cooking oils, salad dressings and other oil-based ingredients for a more subtle hint of lemon flavour. It pairs well with seafood, root vegetables and leafy greens to add an extra dimension on the palate.
- Cooling lemon drinks
Nothing is better than the refreshing taste of citrus on a hot day – lemon myrtle can be used to level up the lemon in soft drinks and cocktails, or to make a fruit punch. Make a versatile syrup by boiling lemon myrtle in water and then reducing it down with sugar for the perfect addition to summer beverages. Gin distillers have discovered that lemon myrtle pairs beautifully with juniper, the primary botanical in gin, to add aromatic lemon notes.
- Refreshing and soothing tea
Lemon myrtle is immensely popular in herbal infusions and tea blends, and with high levels of antioxidants, it is a caffeine-free alternative to black or green tea. Studies have shown that the appearance and flavour of lemon myrtle tea is preferable to green tea, with less bitterness on the palate. Drinking lemon myrtle tea regularly offers a myriad of health benefits and it is also a proven calming and anti-stress elixir.
Chefs, bartenders and manufacturers all over the world are still experimenting and discovering new ways to enjoy lemon myrtle in food and drinks. And with more and more research showing it is also good for our health and wellbeing, expect to see it among Australia’s most popular superfoods.
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