In a pinch, limes and lemons can be interchanged in almost any recipe. HOWEVER, it’s not a wise thing to do in Mexican dishes or drinks. There is a little, extra, literal “twist” we get from limes over lemons. No doubt the Mexican drug cartels were well on to this when they introduce their great lime shortage this year. It’s not even fun thinking of a well-made ceviche, margarita, a mojito, an ice cold Corona or yummy guacamole made without fresh lime juice!
Always a bartender’s friend and valuable seasoning enhancer of favorite foods, limes figure big in Mexican, Latin American and certain Asian cuisines. There are three types of limes available to us. The Taihitian are largest, Mexican slightly smaller and Key limes which are quite small and lighter skinned.
Limes originated in Southeast Asia then journeyed to Egypt, other North African countries and over to Spain which gave Columbus the opportunity to bring some with him on his second journey to the New World in the year 1493. Limes were very much in demand on the high seas for their richness in vitamin C and ability to fight scurvy. This is how, on other journeys, British sailers earned the name, “Limey.”