HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Discussion

Key Limes or Juice?

While I am still debating on which key lime pie to make for Easter, I need to find either key limes or key lime juice. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. I honestly can't remember the last grocery store I saw that didn't have key lime juice--not just Whole Foods and Wegmans and the like, but even the Safeways and Giants usually at least have Nellie & Joe's.

      1. Key limes, IMHO, are vastly superior to Nellie & Joe's. Harris Teeter in Reston seems to have key limes all the time. I assume that means that their other stores do too, but am not certain.

        1. trader joe's usually has key limes (at least the one in falls church, near 66). jar juice not nearly as good, because has preservatives.
          7514 Leesburg Pike
          Falls Church, VA 22043
          Phone: (703) 288-0566
          Trading Hours: 9 am - 9 pm

          1. I've seen the juice at most grocery stores. I haven't actually seen the limes anywhere recently, although I don't hit the higher-end stores. Just make sure you use Key limes and not regular ;-)

            3 Replies
            1. re: AlyKen

              I've had very good results with Persian limes in the past, and they're a whole lot easier to juice!

              1. re: Jason1

                The flavor notes of Persian limes are substantially different than those of key limes. The recipe will not come out the same. Likewise with key lime juice.

                Wegman's and TJ's will sometimes have key limes, but not always. Persian limes are dark green and somewhat smaller than regular limes. Key limes are more yellow than green, and only the size of golf balls. They also give off very little juice - it takes a lot of key limes to make pie!

                1. re: Jason1

                  It's not "Key Lime Pie" if you don't make it with real Key limes or the juice. As a native Floridian, I feel that the flavor is totally different. My mother has a Key lime tree in a pot, so I agree that the fruit is very difficult to juice. If you cannot find the actual limes in the stores, buy the juice. It's usually in the baking section... or at least it is at the Giant in Glen Burnie. I also don't think you should make it with lime Jello.

              2. Not sure why earlier post disappeared, but per Cooks Illustrated, they say there is no real difference in taste, mixed opinions on what the difference might be (some sources say stronger/sharper, some say milder/more mellow), and between the small size, seeds and thin, un-zestable skin, not worth the trouble. They recommend using just standard Persian limes.

                1. I have made pie with both Key Limes and regular (Persian limes), as well as with a mixture of lime and lemon juice to approximate the flavor of Key limes.

                  I don't care what Cook's Illustrated says - there IS a difference in taste and if you can find Key limes, use them for your pies!

                  That being said, I just made some mini key lime pies last week and I bought the Key limes at Whole Foods Harbor East.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scarlet starlet

                    I agree... I also think that maybe they haven't had real Key lime pie.

                  2. I've seen key limes in the produce section of both Giant on York Road as well as Whole Foods. They are sold in a green mesh bag and there are about a dozen to each bag. I agree that juice from fresh key limes are best but if you can't get a hold of them, use fresh Persian (regular) limes. The bottled juice stuff, no matter how "original" or "gourmet" just tastes awful.

                    1. Thanks everyone. I have access to 2 Trader Joes and 3 Whole Foods, and a Wegmans. I will start calling around as I would like to use the real key limes. I can also make it out to Reston if need be. Thanks for all of the feedback!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rHairing

                        just roll your limes back and forth firmly on the counter to soften them up for maximum juice.