The Gourmand returns with an ode to lemons

David Lane and Marina Tweed are back with a sharp anthology of recipes, stories and visuals championing a fruit bowl staple

Photograph of The Gourmand's book, Lemon, featuring a white cover with a close up photograph of a lemon and its leaves

After The Gourmand’s 2022 book dedicated to eggs, the food, arts and culture journal run by David Lane and Marina Tweed has set its sights on another oval-shaped ingredient: the lemon.

Like the previous book, The Gourmand’s Lemon is part recipe book, part culture publication. Alongside 60 lemony recipes, expect journeys back into 20th century art, design and literature to learn how lemons inspired the likes of Matisse and Warhol; served as a literary device for James Joyce and Joan Didion; and featured in the lives of the Bloomsbury Group. If you prefer something a little more aged, there are stories travelling back into the role of lemons in the Medici Dynasty and the Dutch Golden Age.

There’s also a potted history of the meaning of the word in everyday language, influenced in part by VW’s famous Lemon ad from 1960, and a look at how the lemonade stand came to symbolise the American dream.

With more stories on everything from wallpaper to pop music to scurvy, the influence of lemons reaches far and wide. “Put the word ‘lemon’ into a museum’s search engine, and hundreds of results, from different countries and centuries, pop up,” explains Jennifer Higgie in the introduction. Thankfully, many of these examples appear to have made their way into the book, creating a rich visual history to complement the eclectic collection of stories.

Photograph of a spread from The Gourmand's book, Lemon, showing a written text on the left hand page headlined 'The many moods of Matisse's lemons', and on the opposite page is a predominantly red-toned painting by Matisse showing a table and bench covered in vases of flowers with artworks on the wall in the background Photograph of a spread from The Gourmand's book, Lemon, featuring a recipe page on the left and a photograph of a lemon where a ring of peel has been removed from the middle, placed on a golden dish

Historical images and well-known artworks are joined by original photographs taken by still-life photographer Bobby Doherty, who worked on the Egg book.

Sometimes ravishing, sometimes obscure (spot the lemon remodelled into a sailing ship), the photographs illustrate Doherty’s taste for the unexpected, while allowing the often overshadowed work of food stylists – in this case Jamie Kimm and Anna Edqwist – to shine. Who knew a lemon could be represented in so many different guises?

Image shows a spread from The Gourmand's book, Lemon, showing an image of a yellow lemon squeezer on the left page, and the headline 'Lemon accessories' on the opposite page Image shows a still life artwork featuring various fruit and vegetables suspended and arranged over a table, which has been laid out over a double page spread in The Gourmand's new book, Lemon Photograph of a spread from The Gourmand's book, Lemon, with a written text headlined 'A modern twist' on the left hand page, and on the opposite page is an artwork featuring three black fuzzy silhouettes of lemons on a pale background

The Gourmand’s Lemon. A Collection of Stories and Recipes is published by Taschen;