When the world’s food history is being written, there is one ingredient that would find itself in it again and again- the good ol’ lemon. The origin of the word lemon may be Middle Eastern, but the word draws from the Old French limon, it then found itself on Italian shores as limone, to the Arabic lands as laymūn or līmūn. It also finds its roots in the Persian līmūn, a generic term for citrus fruit, which is a cognate of the Sanskrit word ‘Nimbū’ or lime. When ‘Nimboo’ was first shortlisted by our founder, Saurabh, he was reminded of the pure, fresh and clean- a product of nature that carries the spirit of cleansing and wards off evil.

If many herbalist folklores were to be believed, a lemon is the centre of all things pure. Lemon balm was used in many cultures to ward off evil, and to promote good health, love, and good cheer. Sachets of lemon were placed under your pillow or near the bed to provide a relaxing sleep. Lemon juice is used as an asperge or using lemon bath products in your ritual bath. Lemon leaf can be added to a bath tea for the same purpose.

We don’t mean to brag about our brand’s inspiration, but lemon and its lineage has packed in several great meals and created many other strong economies around the world as a commodity in trade. As you’d know, our team of gastronomes at Nimboo, love a great meal. And there’s one go-to Nimboo meal that everybody craves at work, home or during travel. Today, we’re on a mission to decode a few.

Lemons are native to Asia, having first been discovered in the northeast of India in Assam, and then moving to Burma and then modern day China. Ayan from our UI team spent a large part of his childhood exploring the cuisines of this region in India. Their local favorite being the Assamese Thali. A typical meal, often known as thali, from this part of the country, comes with 4 to 5 elements, simpler, yet bolder in taste than many other vernacular meals. An Assamese thali typically consists of a local green vegetables, fried potatoes, a fish curry, a bowl of dal or lentils, pickle and steamed rice. Often known to work with minimal spices, a typical garnish is always a lemon that hits the right notes with the meal. In the image: Hand-painted indigo linen napkin

Lemons entered Europe near Southern Italy in 2nd century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome. Somewhere during traversing its journey through Europe, the mighty fish fillet was discovered, garnished with some lemon sauce and herbs like parsley or rosemary. Smriti from our design research team cracked open that recipe for a special Sunday meal and it has now become sort-of a tradition! In the image: Eco-friendly dyed napkin

Lemons continued to pave their journey from Persia and then to Egypt around 700 AD. The lemon was first recorded in literature in a 10th-century Arabic treatise on farming. It is here that the lemonade first came to life. Typically made with water, sugar and squeezes and squeezes of lemon juice, lemonade is Saurabh’s go-to summer drink. Always on the move and in-between meetings, he believes that there is no better way to hydrate oneself, but to carry a flask full of lemonade with him wherever he goes in Indian summer heat. In the image: Ombre linen tea towel (apricot)

It was the Spanish conquest that spread the lemon throughout the New World, where it was still used mainly used as an ornamental plant, and for medicine. What they really put into good use was to garnish their traditional Paella with lemon juice. Nitika from our marketing team discovered the best Paella on her travels to Spain and is constantly on the lookout for Indian restaurant kitchens that can serve up the original flavour (with extra lemon juice of course!). Have a recommendation for her? You can write in to us! In the image: Ombre linen tea towel (blue)

When the journey of lemon took it to America, one of our team’s favourite snacks was finally founded- a crispy barbecued corn-on-the-cob with a trickle of lemon juice on it. A super hit during the monsoon season or when the sun’s out on a quiet, winter Sunday, a corn cob with some lemon, tickles our taste buds like no other! In the image: Handwoven ikat placemat set

Something closer home, our studio’s extra special lemon tea, is every team member’s respite from a heavy work day. A warm cuppa with herbs, made by our in-house pantry star, Dimple, keeps us beaming with hope on the gloomiest of afternoons. Dear coffee, it’s time to move over! In the image: Multi-shape handcrafted platter set