Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 3, 2009 04:22 PM

Key Limes? Where?

Is there a season for key limes? Any places carry them other than Whole Foods?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I found a bag at my local Ralph's and I'm sure either Bristol Farms or Gelsons has them too. There is a season, and it corresponds to the citrus season, which runs from mid-winter to mid-spring.

    1. i haven't looked very recently, but trader joe's was carrying key limes in a mesh bag. pretty reasonable, too.

      1. They're pretty plentiful at most well-stocked produce sections. The key lime is the same as the "Mexican" lime. I've been to a couple of farmers markets, and quite a few supermarkets of various levels and ethnicities over the past couple of weeks, and recall seeing them at just about every stop. Marina Farms, Bristol Farms, Von's, Gelson's, Top Valu, and I think I may have even seen them at TJ's. I don't recall the price, but True Valu which focuses on the Latino market, had a huge pile of them in the citrus section of their produce department. Places like that would probably be your best route. The turnover is good and the prices are usually very reasonable.

        6 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          I happened to see this link from another post (listed at the bottom) and just felt impelled to respond even though it's not my local board. While I've never had them, Mexican limes are definitely thicker-skinned and of a darker green color than key limes. Their color is closer to the usual Persian limes you see in any stupidmarket. I'm not sure of the taste - key limes have a very different flavor from regular limes.

          But I agree with alkapal - Trader Joe's stores across the country usually carries mesh bags of decent key limes.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I appreciate your clarification. Citrus aurantifolia Swingle is described as either lime. I think the differences may or may not have something to do with different varieties aurantifolia as well as climate, etc. I've included a couple of links that describe this fruit and the Wiki entry does mention exactly as you state - thicker skin.


            FWIW, we have a tree in our yard, and we've actually gotten fruit that has had varying degrees of color and skin thickness. The fruit on our tree has ripened to a "lemon" yellow and the skins are somewhat thin right now, but when they're first green they're dark green and the skins are thicker at first. Whatever the case, I guess it would then be best to ask the store if they do indeed specifically carry key limes.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              I'm very envious of your lime tree. :-)

            2. re: LindaWhit

              Every little key lime I ever had in Miami was yellow, not green.

              1. re: sbritchky

                They turn yellow as the mature...


              2. re: LindaWhit

                I think perhaps the problem is an English labelling issue. If they're called "limon" (sorry can't do the accents on this keyboard) they are not Key limes. "Lima", however, means a key lime -- and while they may be greenish, ripe and juicy ones are yellow.

                That said, the citrus vendor at the far end of the Irvine CFM has Key limes for a couple more weeks.

            3. Most Mexican markets will have them.

              1. I've also seen bags of Key Limes at Smart & Final and 99 Cennts Only Stores.