Limes are as obvious in appearance as they are in flavor. They are petite, semi rounded to ovate in shape. Upon harvest, they have a Kelly green, thin, and porous peel, which, when zested releases floral aromatics. Their thinly segmented flesh is a pale lemon lime color, fragrant, juicy and tart with a sour bite. When fully mature Limes become yellow, similar to the color of lemons. The entire fruit is used for culinary applications.
Limes are available year-round.
Limes are botanically classified as citrus aurantifolia, and are one of the smaller members of the citrus family, Rutaceae. Common Lime varieties include the Persian or Tahiti lime, Citrus latifolia, a hybrid developed in the early twentieth century. Persian limes are the single most cultivated variety globally.
The Lime is perhaps one of the most ubiquitous of all citrus fruits. It is an every day culinary staple in both fresh and juiced form. Its distinctive sour and tart flavor allows the Lime to be a utility ingredient within countless recipes both savory and sweet.
The fruit of the Lime tree is only one of the elements of the plant that is used for its culinary properties. Lime flowers are used in several applications. Spain and France dry the flowers to powder form and use them to make lime tea. The flowers are also used in confections and ice creams and are utilized as bee pollen for honey. Lime leaves are a quintessential ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisines, their aromatics lending themselves to a multitude of dishes from Thailand to Vietnam.