Limes are one of the smallest members of the citrus family. Our Persian limes are available all year round. Lime trees bloom year-round. Their peak bloom varies by region. Limes are a great source of vitamin C and possess a tangy flavor.
Historically limes were used by sailors against scurvy. Limes are a popular citrus staple in a variety of cultural cuisines such as Mexican, Southwestern, Thai, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern. Limes are also an important part of the beverage business and have become a mixologist’s staple ingredient. There are a few different varieties of limes such as Persian (also known as Tahiti or Bearss), Kaffir, and the smaller seeded variety known as the Mexican, West Indian and Key limes.
Key Attributes of Limes
- Persian limes are available all year
- Oval shaped with a bright green skin
- Subtle in smell and flavor
- Typically seedless
The History of Limes
The origin of the Persian lime, also known as Tahiti or Bearss, is unknown. It is believed that the Persian lime was introduced to the Mediterranean via Persia. At the time, the Persian lime came to California by way of Tahiti between 1850 and 1880. The smaller, seeded Mexican lime was at the epicenter of the California lime industry; therefore, Persian limes were not widely distributed there. Initially consumers coined the Persian lime the “green lemon” and were unwilling to purchase it as they believed it was not as palatable as the Mexican lime. It was post-World War I that the Persian lime became successful in Florida, taking the place of the Mexican lime and lemon. In 1949, the invention of limeade concentrate secured the Persian lime’s place in the lime industry.
Did You Know?
- Limes were originally used against scurvy
- “Limey” is a common nickname for persons of British descent, because long ago British sailors used to consume lime juice on warships to prevent scurvy
- Key limes received their name from the lime’s initial distribution in the Florida Keys
How to Care For and Store
Use limes within 7 days of purchase. Refrigerate for several weeks for extended storage.
Selecting your Lime
- Choose limes that are bright green in color and smooth to the touch
- Make sure the lime is firm; it should also feel heavier than it looks
- Dark green blemishes, known as scald, do not affect the taste of the lime. Yet, a dried-out skin signifies a lime that will be inadequate for use.
Need help around the house? Lime juice can be helpful in removing stubborn stains from items such as brass doorknobs and tile floors. Plus, grind a lime in the garbage disposal to eliminate odors.
Avoid using an aluminum pan when cooking with limes. The acid reacts with the aluminum which can cause a lime to turn gray and taste bad.
Instead of salt, use a bit of lime juice as a substitute for seasonings or dressings.
Make your kitchen table pop with color. Put a bowl of limes in the center of the table, and enjoy the color and the refreshing aroma.
How to Enjoy
For a burst of fresh flavor, add a lime wedge to enhance your beverages: water, cocktails, margaritas, beers and carbonated beverages.
Substitute lime juice for vinegar in dressings and sauces.
Add lime slices to fruit salads for an enhanced taste.
To make quick guacamole, cut up an avocado, squeeze on lime juice and sprinkle salt and pepper.