Skip Nav
Food Video
Go Under the Sea with Ariel's Fish Sticks Recipe (Sorry Flounder!)
Get the Dish
Hack Shake Shack's ShackBurger
Recipes
33 Amazing Avocado Recipes

Lemon vs. Lemongrass

Lemon vs. Lemongrass: Which One Smells More Like Lemon?

Lemongrass, a root that looks like a tougher scallion, is widely used in Asian cuisine. It's named after the citrus fruit, thanks to its lemon-like scent — but how do the two stack up when placed side by side? To find out, Brad Farmerie, executive chef of The Thomas restaurant in Napa, CA, and member of the Lean Cuisine Culinary Roundtable, put both ingredients to a sensory test.

Find out what the results were — and how to conduct a similar test yourself — when you read on.

Brad's theory: after taking a whiff of lemongrass, the scent of lemon would be disappointing. I didn't believe him until he placed the two side by side and I smelled each for myself. Sure enough, he proved me wrong.

ADVERTISEMENT

The lemongrass told a riveting tale, with its lemon yet orange-blossom-like scent, grassy quality, and hint of spiciness, similar to ginger. Visually, lemon appeared more desirable, with its sunny hue and juicy flesh, but to my amazement, its scent fell flat when compared to the lemongrass. It was like comparing a fine bottle of Cabernet to a boxed wine: the lemon smelled weak and one-dimensional. It was almost like lemongrass smelled like the true lemon and the lemon fruit was just a poor, subpar imitation of itself, lacking the complexity and layers of the root.

Flavor-wise, lemon zest and juice will always have a place in Mediterranean, Italian, and California cuisine for its zingy freshness. When it comes to Asian cuisine, however, lemongrass is the way to go. In Thai soups and stews and chicken and fish dishes, lemongrass offers a distinguishable citrus flavor without the bitterness or acidity found in lemons. Lemongrass also has the unique ability to balance the spiciness of chiles.

Try the lemongrass and lemon scent- and taste-off yourself, and tell us if you can detect the differences.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Lemongrass
Doing Too Much For Kids
How Chefs Make Grilled Cheese
30-Day Relationship Challenge
How Attractive Woman Play Hard to Get
Car Seat Rules For Children, Tweens, and Teens
Goat Cheese and Lemon Ravioli
Jobs For Shy People
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipes
Should You Refrigerate Butter?
From Our Partners
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds