This small green citrus fruit grows in tropical and sub-tropical countries and is used widely in Mexican, South East Asian and Indian cooking. It has a piercingly sour but delicious flavour and has a thinner skin than a lemon.
All year round.
Select firm shiny fruit that are heavy for their size as these will be the juiciest.
Limes are quite firm, so it’s best to roll them back and forth on the kitchen table to help them yield more juice. Alternatively, microwave them for about 20 seconds. Use unwaxed limes if you wish to use the rind. If unavailable, scrub the skin well. Finely zest the rind to use in cakes, desserts and icings, or cut the fruit in half and squeeze the juice for using in drinks, sorbets and dessert recipes.
The tangy sweetness of lime juice complements hot chilli flavours, so it is delicious in salsas and hot spicy dishes, but also makes an excellent marinade for fish, or can be squeezed over mango and papaya. A slice of lime is delicious in a gin and tonic, and the classic Cuban cocktail, the Mojito, is a refreshing combination of crushed mint, lime juice and white rum stirred with crushed ice. Lime can be used instead of lemon in many dishes, but you’ll need to use less of it.