Limes never grew well, at first, in the U.S. and were imported for the most part from Mexico. Later, however limes were cultivated in the States and imported also from Brazil as well as Mexico.
Smooth, shiny limes tend to yield the most juice. Make sure they are brightly colored and firm. Evidence of a few brown spots are okay. Store them in a plastic bag for up to 10 days.
The use of limes and lemons can be interchanged. However, limes have an extra-special “something” for Mexican, Latin American and certain Asian dishes.
Remember, when adding lime or lemon juice to a dish, add it after cooking and just before serving. It serves as a sharpener of good flavor and seasoning.
Increase your yield of lime juice two ways. First, make sure they are at least room temperature, or place them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Next, roll each lime in your hands or on a hard surface to break down the pulp segments, so they will yield more juice.
If you want lime zest, make sure limes were grown organically or, if in doubt, wash and dry each lime carefully. Remember, roughly limes have their pulp particles inside, this is surrounded by a thin white layer with a bitter taste called the “pith.” In order to avoid including pith in your zest gathering, go lightly in your when scraping, being careful not to “run aground” into the bitter stuff. Good implements for creating zest are a vegetable peeler, a rasp, a grater or a small knife for short scrapes.
- Add zest and juice to rice dishes
- Bake slices with fresh fish
- Combine with cane juice for lemonade
- Lime chutney
- Mainstay of margaritas caipirinha and mojitos
- On butter-sauteed fresh corn with chile powder
- Salted pickle
- Squeeze juice onto fresh avocados
- Substitute for salt, enhances all food flavors
- Substitute or vinegar in salad dressings
- Sweetened lime pickle
- Use in cocktails instead of lemon
Below are foodsites with recipes calling for lime and/or lime zest.