The term lime refers to a citrus fruit that has skin color ranging from green to yellow. Usually the pulp of lime is sour and contains acidic elements. In India, this citrus fruit is known as ‘kagzi lime’ or ‘kagzi nimbu’. The limes are smaller as well as sweeter than lemon. Limes are also available all year round and generally oval in shape. As a citrus fruit, lime lends itself to many sweet and sour preparations. Some of the commonly served lime recipes are sweet and sour lime pickle, lime chutney and lime juice.
History of Lime
In eighteenth century, the best use of lime was introduced by a naval surgeon from Scotland. He observed that lime juice can fight effectively against a disease called ‘Scurvy’. British sailors then started drinking lime juice along with other drinks while traveling in sea. England used to import limes from Mediterranean countries and incorporate them in several lime recipes.
Culinary Uses of Lime
Lime is a much valued fruit in culinary world. It’s citrus and acidic taste is used to flavor various drinks and beverages. Lime juice is itself a refreshing drink that can be taken anytime with any meal. Zest of lime is also a very commonly used ingredient in several lime dishes such as lemon zest rice and chicken with lime zest. Sweet and sour pickles are fondly made with limes. Lime flavored sauces and spreads are very famous in almost all cuisines. This citrus fruit is even used in dried form as well.
Lime flavor is a valuable addition to desserts and puddings. White cream is flavored with lime to be added to a variety of cakes, pies and puddings. Savory lime recipes, including poultry and fish dishes are quite popular. Lime juice is also a frequent addition to the various salad dishes as a part of dressing.
Popular Lime Recipes
• Lime pickle – This is one of the most popular lime recipes in Indian as well as Persian cuisine. Lime pickle has many variants such as sweet lime pickle and spicy lime pickle.
• Spicy garlic lime chicken – This is a commonly served lime dish. Lime juice is used to give a tangy taste to the chicken roasted with other flavored ingredients.
• Margarita lime dressing salad – This is a nice Mexican style salad. It is an alternative to cream-based salads.
• Mojito – It is a popularly served lime drink that can be fondly added with alcohol as well. It is considered a summery drink.
• Lime meringue pie – This is a nice dessert with a tangy and citrus taste. Lime slices along with sprigs of mint are used to provide flavor to the pie.
• Ceviche – It is one of the most popular lime recipes of South America. Raw fish is typically marinated in fresh lime juice to give a citrus flavor.
Cuisines Commonly Making Lime Dishes
Lime is a very popular ingredient of Mexican and Southwestern American recipes. Lime recipes in Mexican cuisine include lime salad dressings, lime -flavored chicken and fish recipes as well as an assortment of lime beverages and alcoholic drinks. Lime juice is popularly used to marinate various meats and seafood.
Thai and Vietnamese cuisines also make good use of limes. Lime chicken and lime flavored sauces are their main lime dishes.
In Persian cuisine as well as in Iraqi cuisine limes are used in dried form popularly known as ‘loomi’. In the Gulf-style foods lime is frequently added to a spice mixture called ‘baharat’ that is also called ‘kebsa’. Even in Indian cuisine, lime has varied uses, starting from drinks to appetizers and savory dishes to desserts. Lime pickles are incredibly popular in Indian cuisine.
Preferred Methods of Making Lime Recipes
• Baked – Lime pies, muffins and cakes are prepared by baked method.
• Sprinkled – Lime juice is often sprinkled on various grilled and roasted meats and vegetables as a flavoring agent.
• Mixed – Lime juice is widely added or mixed with other ingredients to make marinades, beverages, alcoholic drinks or dressings.
• Marinated – Lime juice is frequently added to marinades for poultry and fish recipes.
Nutritive Value of Lime
Limes are very much required for the optimum health of body. Some of the nutritional values of lime are as follows:
• Lime has negligible contents of saturated fats.
• Cholesterol and sodium are also not found in lime recipes; hence lime is considered a healthy ingredient.
• Lime is an excellent source of Vitamin C.
• Minerals such as calcium and copper are also found in abundance in lime dishes.
• Lime recipes are high in iron contents and dietary fibers.
Those who wish to gain weight should avoid lime or lime recipes because lime helps in reducing weight.
Non-Food Use of Lime
Juice extracted from limes is widely used in making perfumes, soaps and shampoos. Cleaning products are also made with lime extract. These days aromatherapy also make incredible use of lime scented candles and oils.
Buying and Storing of Lime
Limes can be purchased from any grocery store throughout the year. Ripe limes are yellow in color whereas their usual color is green. While buying limes always keep in mind that skin of lime should have a uniform color with firm texture. It is believed that glossy skin is excellent but it is very difficult to determine as skin can be waxed to enhance the appearance.
Limes are highly perishable as compared to lemons hence should be kept in refrigerator for not more than 2 weeks. If kept in room temperature then they should be consumed within 1 week.
Types of Lime
• Key lime – It is usually grown in Mexico and Florida. This variety is highly acidic in nature.
• Persian lime – This variety is the most popular variety of lime commonly grown in Florida.
• Bearss – This is mainly found in California. It is considered a seedless variety of lime and popularly used to make tangy and tart lime recipes.
• British sailors used to drink lime juice while traveling in sea in order to protect them from ‘scurvy’; hence they were popular as ‘limeys’.
• Lime juice often acts as a salt substitute in low-sodium diets.