With spring in full force, the famous lemon and peppermint stick combo is reappearing around Baltimore. Although they can be eaten year-round, lemon-stick season (yes it has it's own season) begins in May, following the Mount Vernon Flower Mart.
If you've never tried this delicious combination, now's the time to start. It's the perfect combination of sour and sweet, and it's a Baltimore tradition. I tried to do some research on the history of the lemon stick, but was not very successful. The origin of this springtime treat is largely unknown, according to Baltimore Sun food critic Richard Gorelick's article.
Origins are interesting, but in this case you're probably more interested in how to get your hands on one of these. Few places sell them because they're so simple to make, but you might be able to find them at festivals throughout the summer. If you're not willing to wait, I suggest you try your hand at the easiest recipe in history.
Baltimore Lemon Stick Recipe
1 peppermint stick
1. Purchase lemon(s) from grocery, farmers market, etc. (You know where to get lemons.)
2. Purchase peppermint stick.
Finding these can be a bit trickier, the supermarket doesn't always have them in stock. But I always find them at the Cracker Barrel country store, and a lot of candy stores carry them as well. It's important that you buy a peppermint stick and not a candy cane, these are two totally different species of peppermint.
3. Cut off the top 1/3 of the lemon. You can also cut the lemon in half, it is up to you. And, if you plan to set your lemon stick down, you may want to cut off a bit on the bottom so it doesn't fall over.
4. In the middle of your now cut lemon cut a small "X" shape to make it easier to insert the peppermint stick.
5. Gently push the peppermint stick into the center of your lemon.
6. Suck the lemon through the peppermint stick and enjoy!