Lime is a hybrid of some of the most ancient citrus fruits, mainly the citron, mandarin orange and pomelo. The complex citrus family tree means that within the group that we consider limes there are many different varieties, each with their own characteristics. Some popular limes include: Mexican lime, key lime, kaffir lime, musk lime, Persian lime, Australian desert lime, Australian finger lime, and sweet lime.
LIME OR LEMON?
Limes are often confused with lemons especially when they are yet to ripen because they are both green in colour. Lemons however, become bright yellow when ripe, and they also tend to be larger and irregular in shape. Even the peels are different: that of lime is a lot thinner. Both these citrus fruits are acidic, but have a different flavour profile, and hence find different uses in the kitchen. Make sure to understand them both and experiment with some of our delicious Italian street food-inspired Zesty Food recipes.
LONDON AND THE LIMEHOUSE
Ever wonder why some of the docks in the city of London are called limehouses? The name is traced back to the 19th century whereby huge quantities of limes from the West Indies were unloaded and stored in these areas, ready for supplying the entire British navy on their long journeys offshore. The practice has long been abandoned, but the name remains!
THE MANY USES OF LIME
From the fragrant leaves of the tree to the essential oils in the glands of the rind, lime is used in a number of different ways that we encounter in our day to day lives. Extracts and oils are used in perfumes and cleaning products, whilst the cuisines of Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Persia in particular, find use of the juice, pulp and fragrant leaves in popular dishes. Lime is also an essential ingredient for any good bartender, discover some for yourself with our fresh mocktail recipes in our Mixart column!