Are There Local Alternatives to Lemon and Lemon Zest?

Good Questions

Q: For about a year now I've been focusing on eating locally-produced food from small farms. It's been pretty easy to stick to even in the winter because I live in Seattle.

Lately, though, I have been running into quite a few recipes (especially for cake) that call for orange or lemon zest, which is obviously not native to the Pacific Northwest.

Could you suggest an alternate ingredient that would be a more local substitute for citrus peel?

Sent by Catherine

Editor: Catherine, wow, that is definitely some dedication on your part! We have to admit that lemons are one non-local item that we really could never go without. But if you'd like to try something local, what about starting with herbs? You could use lemon verbena, lemon mint, and lemon thyme to flavor cakes and other desserts. They are definitely different than lemon zest itself, but they would give some of that flavor. You could also try to grow your own lemon trees indoors, in pots, which is quite easy if you install a couple of grow lights.

Readers, any ideas for Catherine?

Related: Eating at the Office: Pack a Lemon in Your Lunch Bag

(Image: Dallas Morning News)

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