I am a lover of lemon juice. So much so, the enamel on my two front teeth has been reduced to basically sandpaper and I had to get a few hundred dollars worth of veneers. Worth it! (Thanks Mom.)
When I was young, I was a notoriously picky eater. My mom would cook all kinds of amazing Persian, Assyrian, and with the help of Julia and Jacques, French dishes. My mom would beg me to at least try her food, so I would touch the tiniest spoonful with the tip of my tongue, wince and say ewwwwww. Man, was I annoying. All I would eat was riza masta (rice and yogurt).
But I always loved lemon juice. Maybe it’s genetic (my siblings are the same) or maybe it’s just cultural. Persian food is all about the sour. Lemons, pomegranates, and cherries are used a buttload. So I started opening up to eating anything that I could put lemon juice on. And by put, I mean my food would swim in lemon juice. This included fish which then evolved to seafood and sushi.
Ghormeh Sabzi is one of my favorite Persian dishes. I wouldn’t go near it when I was young but once I figured out there were dehydrated and therefore super sour lemons in it, I was all over that shit.
My love of lemon juice is mirrored by my love of vinegar. I can sip vinegar straight. So obviously, anything vinegary I will probably like. Torshia (Persians call is torshi) is pickled vegetables and goes with basically every meal. So once I started eating that, I would put it on everything. I even started eating spaghetti with red meat sauce (yes, I didn’t even like that; it was pesto or nothing).
And let’s not forget the cleaning properties of both vinegar and lemon juice. I use diluted vinegar as an all-purpose cleaner all over my kitchen and bathroom. Lemon juice can be used in laundry to brighten whites (I learned that one from Fruit Ninja). My grandmother on my white side swore by a spoonful of vinegar to cure hiccups. Dude, it works.
Basically what I’m saying is lemons and vinegar changed my life. One of my favorites still is sliced lemons with salt. Mmmmm.