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Oct 20, 2012 11:51 PM

Describe the Taste of Limes

Fresh limes are not commonly available where I live.
In fact, I saw them at the market the other day for only the second time in 21 years! I bought a bagful, and used some of them to make a Lime Glazed Cake for my son && his new gf.
Gf and I loved the cake; son thought it was fine but couldn't really "get" the difference between lime and plain old lemon. We tried to describe the subtleties of lime flavor in words but apparently weren't eloquent enough.
Anyone else want to try?

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    1. Like a tropical, complex, 'green tasting' lemon.
      Hmmm, I think lime may be one of those 'you had to be there' things.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pippimac

        "Green tasting lemon" is a good description.

        The French call lemons "citron" and limes "citron vert" (green lemon).

        They are a fruit that are always in our supermarkets here in northern Europe.

      2. Approximately where is that? I could get them easily at any supermarket in Toronto - and they are not native there - so I would be surprised if they are not available anywhere in the US......

        Use limes pretty much everyday since it is used a lot in Thai food (lemons on the other hand are really expensive). Even with fried rice you will get a wedge of lime to squirt on top before eating.

        BTW, not sure about lemons - but lime (here) is usually added near or at the end of cooking since cooking lime juice for any length of time will make it "bitter" (as opposed to sour).

        6 Replies
        1. re: cacruden

          I believe almond tree is in Israel (based on previous posts... and the almond is native to the Middle East). OTOH, apparently limes were first cultivated on a large scale in the Middle East (Iraq), so it would be a surprise to me if they're rare in Israel.

          According to McGee, limes are the most acidic and hence sour of citrus fruits (but other sources differ on this) and their distinctive "limeness" is due to "pine, floral, and spicy aroma notes" from terpenes.

          1. re: drongo

            that's what threw me -- lots and lots of the citrus here in France (including limes) comes from Israel -- expensive, but definitely available.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Yup, I'm in Israel -- and the lime shortage is weird, given all the commercial citrus orchards here. But my young adult son had never tasted limes in his life before the cake the other night.
              Now I'm trying to think of what to do with the rest of my precious stash :)

              1. re: almond tree

                that IS weird -- maybe they ship it all to Europe....

                You could make lime curd and preserve it, or juice and zest -- the juice and the zest both freeze very well. (don't know if you can freeze curd or not; my guess would be no)

                1. re: sunshine842

                  good idea. I could freeze juice in ice cube trays.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    We've frozen curd once. Seemed OK - can't recall if it was a specific recipe for freezing though.

          2. When I lived in Egypt, I was surprised that Egyptians make no distinction between limes and lemons. Both are referred to as lemons.

            3 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              These were labelled "limonim layim" (lime lemons) in the market.

              1. re: almond tree

                Not in Egypt, right? You're in Israel?