Recipe: Spicy Lacto-Fermented Lemons

A little bit of sweet spice makes these fermented lemons pretty special.


  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 3 lemons (thin-skinned lemons work very well)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Water


  1. Place the bay leaf at the bottom of a clean 1-quart jar. Mix together the cloves, allspice and 2 Tbsp. of salt.
  2. Cut the lemons into rounds, and slice each round in half.
  3. Pack the sliced lemons into the jar, layering with sprinkles of the salt and spice mixture. Fill the jar, leaving about an inch of space below the rim. Slide the cinnamon sticks in against the sides of the jar, breaking them if necessary to make them fit.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice and fill the rest of the jar with filtered water, leaving one inch of headspace.
  5. Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  6. Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred). For about 2 weeks. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure. Once the lemons are bubbly and fragrant, place them into cold storage.

At A Glance