Tesco has claimed a UK first by stocking the Meyer lemon – a fruit that looks like a lemon but tastes like an orange.

The Meyer lemon is a cross between a conventional lemon and a mandarin. It is native to China and named after Frank Meyer, an employee at the US Department of Agriculture who discovered it in the early 1900s.

Tesco said it was aiming the fruit at the home-cooking and cocktail markets.

“This fruit is a cook’s dream as it has all the zestiness of a lemon but with the sweetness of a tart orange instead of a harsh sting,” said fruit buyer Tim Battey.

Meyer lemons will be on sale in 400 Tesco stores nationwide, priced at £1.85 for a pack of at least four.

The Meyer lemon is the latest of a growing number of hybrid fruits to hit UK supermarket shelves. Last year, for example, Marks & Spencer launched the grango – a grape that tastes like a mango – and the papple – a pear that looks and tastes like an apple – and Waitrose added pineberries, which look like a white strawberry but taste and smell like pineapple, to its fresh produce line-up.