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Jun 2, 2010 01:41 PM

Limes? What am I doing wrong?

I've recently made a few recipes that called for lime zest and lime juice. (Last night it was the tilapia with chile- lime butter from Gourmet Today.)
Anyhow, none of the limes that I have used had anything close to the amount of juice I get out of a lemon. I used my reamer, just like I do with a lemon, and there just was not a lot of juice in the limes.
I am wondering if I am not picking them well, or, it f it is just the nature of the fruit, and they cannot be compared to lemons.
Any thoughts, or suggestions on how to choose a lime?

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  1. I think there must be a world-wide lime disaster ;-) in the last few weeks, I've noticed limes have gotten much more expensive, and the pulp is dried out, producing practically no juice.

    6 Replies
    1. re: danna

      I've noticed that too, I bought a dozen last week and struggled to get juice out of them. My wooden juicer does the trick.

      1. re: danna

        Ditto: I served some lime slices with fish tacos a few days ago and they barely gave up any juice

        1. re: danna

          I'm in the restaurant business and the limes we're getting in New England contain no juice, are bitter, not sour; and they turn brown outside very rapidly. Lemons, same thing to a lesser degree. I've taken to using Meyer lemons.

          In a pinch, zest the lime. Make sure it's at room temperature and juice it (don't ask why, it just works). Then, take the zest and place it in the juice. If you need to cheat by adding a little fresh lemon juice, why not?

          1. re: shaogo

            totally agree. the limes in CT are awful. totally dry. glad im not the only one noticing this

          2. re: danna

            I'll fifth your statement. The limes we've had lately have been drrrrrrryyyyyyyy. Like shaogo, I'm in New England. I prepared a mini-taquiza tonight, and I didn't even bother cutting up any limes for it.

            1. re: Cachetes

              Now that you mention it, the most recent limes I bought weren't flush with juice either.

              As to the original OP, the trick is to pick ones with a thin skin on them. To use cow hide as an analogy, the rind should be a supple like a fine leather rather than a thick, hard leather like on welders gloves.

              Also, bring to room temperature and press down and roll them on the counter to break up some of the pulp and release some of the oils.

              Same rules apply for lemons.


          3. I always look for the heavy, sweet smelling and deep green limes. Give them a light playfull roll and squeeze in your hands. The nice soft plushness and rebound tell you you have a fresh one. Hard will tell you the journeys been long and dry. Happy Sqeezing!

              1. Seems like everyone is experiencing the same problem. After bringing them to room temp, have you rolled them under your palm against a hard surface - relentlessly? I've never tried it, but often, people will put them (an lemons) in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Let them cool for a couple of minutes before cutting/squeezing.

                1. I've had lousy luck with limes lately too.
                  Throw them in a bucket and run hot water over them, then let them sit for 5 min or so. Drain and proceed.
                  This always helps me with lemons, and now I guess I'll try it with my limes too.