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What is up with limes?

The past three times I've bought limes at the grocery store, I've gotten them home, gone to use them and they're dry as a bone. I might get a quarter tsp. of juice out of the whole thing. I've put in the microwave, rolled on the countertop, put on the juicer, but these suckers are dry as a bone.
I'm frustrated.
Anyone else having these problems? Do I just not know how to pick a good lime? How would I pick a good lime?

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  1. It's the end of lime season for Mex, which supplies most of the US, so quality is suffering and prices are astronomical. Give it about 2-3 weeks and Texas crops should start to flourish, relieving the tight market.

    *veggietales :-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Veggietales

      veggietales, I am just going to follow you around this board -- I have learnt so much from your posts recently

    2. Look for a lime that feels heavy for its size. I like ones that when I squeeze them the feel just a little squishy, but not not too squishy or they may be bad. Beware the overfirm lime that feels light for its size--probably a dry one.

      1 Reply
      1. I could drop one of these desicated, alpha-limes from a barn roof without damaging it, yet my car bumper couldn't withstand a 5 mph crash. What we need to do in America is start driving our limes! :)

        1. Try to get YELLOW limes.
          Explanation: limes become yellow when ripe. As such, they are much juicier & tastier.
          For marketing reasons they are usu. picked up very early in the development process. It seems market perception is people's IQ won't be high enough to distinguish limes from lemons, while "green" and "yellow" are easy to differentiate.
          My solution: get to know farmers in your area that grow limes, ask them to send you a box of YELLOW ones, voilĂ !

          1. Did the recent California freeze destroy their lime crops? If so, poor quality and high prices may continue.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tom porc

              I live in SW Florida and have a lime tree in the back yard. When it is not bearing, like right now, I hate having to get grocery store limes. I get over a 1/4 cup of juice from each lime on my tree, at best a couple of tbsps from a store bought one.

              1. re: tom porc

                It hurt much of the citrus in CA, including limes. That being said local limes are juicy and tasty.

              2. There's a time of year (sounds like it's now!) when limes are small, dry and expensive. I posted about this a while ago but can't find it. At the time, I complained to a Mexican friend, and he told me to always look for limes that have skin with the least number of "pores". You'll see the difference. Lime skin should be really smooth. That has worked for me. But during the "lime drought" limes like that are hard to come by.

                1. When limes are out of season, like now, and cost 3 for a dollar and yield little juice, I keep a bottle of Nellie & Joes Key West lime juice in the fridge when I need juice for fish dishes or beverages. When they are in season and CHEAP, only a few weeks a year, I juice a lot of them and make lime juice cubes in the ice trays that make cubes about the size of dice, then keep them in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo

                    69 cents for a lime in A&P today

                    1. re: tom porc

                      My Nellie and Joes Key West lime juice in the fridge claims it "Contains at least 26 limes", so @ $2.39, it's nine cents a lime, which compares quite favorably to the thieves' rates at your A&P. However, my newer bottle in my pantry says "double strength" in place of "Contains at least 26 limes". Shenanigans in Key West? I think Nellie and Joe have some 'splainin' to do.

                    2. re: Veggo

                      Three for a dollar today at my wonderful Mexican grocer, too. They were pretty pitiful looking, as well. In a couple of months, they'll 12 for a dollar. Juicing them then is way to go.

                    3. They might have been frozen. Freezing turns citrus fruit dry and nasty.

                      1. So, do you guys remember the scene from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation when they are sitting down to Christmas dinner and Clark goes to cut the turkey and it just explodes into withered bones?

                        Yeah, thats exactly what my last 2 limes have done. Microwaved, rolled, cut in half, go to squeeze, 8 drops come out and then it blossoms like a chrysanthymum. Beautiful bunch of nothing. I bought a bottle of fresh juice today because I just don't have the time to jack around with a lime.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chelleyd01

                          all I know is that tropical drink season is around the corner and the limes better behave themselves or I will be unhappy.

                          I actually made a decent whiskey sour with limes not lemons this week - it was good, but I felt like an old lady. ha!

                          1. re: stellamystar

                            I use fresh lime with seltzer instead of lemon and had to buy the juice instead.

                        2. Look for limes with very smooth skin. The thinner the better, when you pinch the lime it should give a little.

                          1. talked to a owner of a viet restaurant. He said that the case of lemons and limes were both $18 not so many months ago. Now the lemons are the same price, but the limes are up to $60 a case! So, now I have to eat my pho with lemons for awhile.