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Key Limes? Where?

Muhlyssa Apr 3, 2009 04:22 PM

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

  1. Phurstluv Apr 3, 2009 04:24 PM

    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. alkapal Apr 3, 2009 04:27 PM

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

      1. b
        bulavinaka Apr 3, 2009 04:31 PM

        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
          LindaWhit Apr 3, 2009 04:43 PM

          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
            bulavinaka Apr 3, 2009 05:08 PM

            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
              LindaWhit Apr 3, 2009 08:00 PM

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

            2. re: LindaWhit
              sbritchky Apr 3, 2009 05:10 PM

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

              1. re: sbritchky
                Dommy Apr 3, 2009 05:53 PM

                They turn yellow as the mature...


              2. re: LindaWhit
                Das Ubergeek Apr 3, 2009 06:21 PM

                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. sku Apr 3, 2009 04:42 PM

              Most Mexican markets will have them.

              1. n
                Norm Man Apr 3, 2009 04:50 PM

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

                1. h
                  hdalsy Apr 3, 2009 05:08 PM

                  There is a chain of Mexican markets called Vallarta....that would probably be a good place to start

                  1. Bob Brooks Apr 3, 2009 05:50 PM

                    Jon's Marketplace will likely have them at the lowest price.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Bob Brooks
                      bad nono Apr 3, 2009 05:52 PM

                      I got some at Jons last month. Can't remember the price but it was very low.

                      1. re: bad nono
                        hppzz Apr 3, 2009 08:09 PM

                        saw it a few days ago for about $1.30 a bag. Jon's is def. cheapest for most produce. ie. Blood oranges were 3lbs for a $1 vs. $3 a 1lb at other places and farmers markets.

                    2. c
                      Cinnamon Apr 3, 2009 07:30 PM

                      Sometimes even 99 Cents Only!

                      1. g
                        Gingergirl Apr 3, 2009 08:59 PM

                        Definitely Jon's. They have them year 'round. If the price were any lower, they'd be free. :-)

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