5 things to know about Menton’s lemon

You can’t miss the world-famous lemons on your holiday in Menton!

Your hotel in Menton is here to provide you with valuable information about the local citrus fruit, which will be celebrated during the 83rd Lemon Festival, from 13 February to 2 March 2016.

The specific features of the variety

Native to Asia, lemons are grown in regions which enjoy a Mediterranean climate. Menton’s lemons come from the  Citrus Limon and include several varieties: Adamo, Cerza, Eureka and Santa Teresa. They are characterised by their bright yellow colour, their elongated (rather than round) shape and their incredibly fruit-bearing branches. They are also very juicy, rich in acid and essence and have a skin which contains lots of essential oil.

In Menton’s restaurants and elsewhere

Menton’s lemons have appealed to many Michelin-starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Paul Bocuse. They’re found in world-famous institutions, from Fauchon to the Ritz, used for their juice or in delicious pastries. When on holiday in Menton, you mustn’t miss the famous lemon tart or a simple, fresh lemonade. You’ll find lemon dishes in most of Menton’s restaurants.

Many virtues

Other trades have been using lemon for centuries too. Cabinetmakers love the particularly light-coloured wood of the lemon tree; perfumers love the zest’s essential oil and doctors discovered that lemons improve blood flow. In the 18th century, lemons became a remedy for scurvy, a disease which was very common among sailors.

Menton’s hotels behind the Festival

Citrus growing began in Menton in the 15th century, before reaching its peak between 1740 and 1840. After seeing a subsequent decline, the sector is currently booming again. In 1875, some city hoteliers launched a carnival to entertain their clients who came to enjoy the winter sunshine. More than 50 years later, in 1928, a hotel in Menton organised an exhibition of flowers and citrus fruits and the event soon became popular. It was the beginning of the Lemon Festival, a term used for the first time in 1934.

Stopping off at the citrus grove

Less than 2 miles from your hotel in Menton, the citrus grove has 450 lemon, orange and olive trees and some 800 tropical plants. More information in our guide to Menton’s gardens.