Fruit – Vegetable – Tropical Fruits
Limes originate from Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, and among all of the citrus fruits, they are the most sensitive to cold and need a humid climate. Their cores probably were brought as seeds to Mexico and the West Indies by Spanish sailors. The flesh of the lime is rich in potassium, calcium and phosphorus, as well as vitamin C. Due to them containing vitamin C, in former times it was taken along on journeys by sailors for scurvy.
Limes grow on strong, widely ramified evergreen trees, which often are tainted with sharp thorns, and have rich leaves. The roundish fruits have a green-yellow smooth, thin peel. The usually seedless greenish flesh of the lime is nearly twice as juicy as in lemons, highly aromatic and very sour. Besides the main bloom that occurs twice a year, the plants continue to flower, but less intensively. Therefore they can be harvested all year round.
Limes are cultivated in Asia, Brazil, Mexico, California, South Florida, the Caribbean, the tropical parts of South America, in Israel, Egypt and other African countries.
All year round from Brazil and Israel.
The Lime is considered to be the “lemon of the tropics” and is frequently mistaken for the genuine lemon. Limes look similar, but have a thinner peel which is coloured green in tree-mature condition and yellow in ripeness. A lime can contain twice as much juice as a lemon.
The juice and peel are used in sweet dishes as well as for baking. They may be sliced as decoration and condiment for crumbed and deep-fried foods, boiled down with oranges for jam, and also squeezed for beverages, sauces and soups.
The shelf-life of the lime is clearly below the lemon because the peel shrinks rapidly and the fruit loses much water. Ripe fruits can be kept for about 5 days at room temperature or 10 days in the refrigerator. Like all other citrus fruits limes will not continue to ripen after the harvest. The juice can be frozen; the peel can be scraped and mixed with sugar and kept in a glass with a secure plastic or metal lid.
Limes should not be cut crosswise like lemons, but lengthwise, then the rate of yield in juice is much larger. Direct exposure to the sun should be avoided as it turns the peel yellow and reduces the characteristic acid content.