The distinctively-shaped lemons shown here are a variety known as boussera or limonette de Marrakesh, but in Morocco we're more likely to refer to them as citron beldi, or "traditional lemons." They and a petite, thin-skinned variety of Moroccan lemon known as doqq are the preferred types used to make l'hamd marakad, or preserved lemons.
Although recipes for making your own preserved lemons typically instruct you to partially quarter the lemons, the preserved boussera and doqq lemons we buy in Morocco are always whole and intact. I was told that small slits rather than lengthwise cuts are adequate when curing these Moroccan lemons, and last week I tried this method to see if the maturation process for whole lemons will take longer than the standard four to five weeks.
Photo © Christine Benlafquih
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