A short overview of the uses and views of the lemon throughout history. All citrus fruits come from just three species that originally grew in the joined continent of Asia and Australia. Most of the lemon's genetic heritage comes from the citron, which originally grew in India and was brought to the Middle East and thence the Mediterranean. As Roman and Jewish people spread throughout Europe, they brought with them an appreciation (and willingness to pay high prices for) the citron, thus spreading citrus. From then on, lemons were a rare and coveted treat. They became more obtainable after explorers brought citrus to the Americas and glass windows were invented. Lemons were still a high-status fruit--more water was used for Louis XIV's famed orangery than for all of Paris--but now they were obtainable throughout the year. Lemons went on to be much appreciated by sailors (to combat the dreaded scurvy), California (their lemons brought them great fame and fortune) and temperance societies.
Like the rest of the Edible series, this is lightweight and without much of a thesis. Sonneman tosses together a series of historical moments, loosely organized by time period. I think I would have enjoyed this more if I'd picked it up periodically instead of reading it all the way through; that way the lack of flow or binding idea would not have bothered me.