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Gardners grow 2.6kg monster lemon in East Fremantle, Western Australia

Chef is given an incredible ‘monster’ lemon the length of a FOREARM by a couple who grew it in their backyard – and reveals the recipe she followed to use all 2.6 kilos of it

  • West Australian gardeners have grown a mega lemon weighing in at 2.6kg
  • East Fremantle locals gave the ponderosa lemon to Perth chef Melissa Palinkas 
  • Ms Palinkas used the monster citrus in a salad and peeled it for fresh limoncello 


Savvy green-thumbs have taken gardening to new heights after growing a lemon the size of a forearm in their own backyard.

Chef Melissa Palinkas excitedly shared an image of the monster citrus to her Instagram last week, snapping the 2.6kg ponderosa lemon next to a regular lemon, almost measuring the same length as her forearm.

Ms Palinkas, who lives in Western Australia, told the Daily Mail Australia the unusual mega lemon was grown by a local East Fremantle couple in June.

Chef Melissa Palinkas shared the monster lemon (pictured) to her Instagram last week after locals dropped off the citrus to her restaurant in Fremantle, Western Australia

‘It grows seasonally with a winter yield,’ she said.

Intrigued by its mammoth size Ms Palinkas, who prides herself on sustainable produce, said she used the lemon for a salad, after finding it unsuitable for juicing.  

‘It is sweet, so I shaved it and made a ponderosa lemon salad with zucchini and green olives with a burnt lemon dressing,’ she said.

‘The middle part is much like Australia’s native finger lime, pearls that burst with juice inside which I sprinkled over the top.’

Ms Palinkas described the pith, which is the flesh of the lemon, as sweet with ‘no bitterness at all’ and peeled a second ponderosa to brew some fresh limoncello – a popular Italian lemon liqueur.

The ponderosa is a hybrid between a citron and an ordinary lemon. 

Ms Palinkas used the lemon for a salad and limoncello served up at Ethos Deli & Dining Room restaurant in Perth

Ms Palinkas used the lemon for a salad and limoncello served up at Ethos Deli & Dining Room restaurant in Perth

While not cultivated commercially it is grown by gardening enthusiasts for decorative purposes but can be used as a replacement for lemons in jams, pies and other recipes.

Chef Melissa Palinkas owns Young George Bar & Kitchen and Ethos Deli & Dining Room in Perth.

Known for her ‘inventive’ and ‘fun’ menu, she prides herself on running a sustainable kitchen that uses a ‘nose to tail’ or ‘root to shoot’ approach to minimise waste.

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