Limes are the considered the lemons of the tropics because limes are grown all places where it is too warm to grown lemons. Limes are believed to originate from northeast India and northern south east Asia. Today the main production countries are Brazil, Mexico, Israel and Egypt. Seafaring men who were often plagued by vitamin C deficiency when they reached their destinations on far away islands discovered limes many years ago. They quickly discovered the high vitamin C content in limes meaning salvation for many sailors
The taste in limes is very strong and acidic, very similar to that of the lemons. The lime flavour is considered to be more balanced and aromatic than that of lemons. Both the green from the skin and the filets inside are used. The white meat under the green skin is very bitter and not recommendable for eating. Limes do not contain starch like other fruits and therefore they can not mature after harvest. From the moment they are harvested the lime fruits start ageing. The shelf life of limes is not as long as that of lemons because the white meat under the skin is thinner and thus contains less moisture to prevent dehydration.
Lime fruits are mostly used for their juice and its citric contributions. Either the lime fruit is cut in boats and used decorative with meals or they are cut in half and the juice is pressed there from. Lime juice is used to adjust taste in fruit salads (ex. papaya salad), to conserve fruit and prevent browning (ex. apples), in baking, ice cream, sorbets, dressings, soup, fish dishes etc.
It is important to note that the beneficiary abilities of Vitamin C are lost when the juice is heated. Vitamin C is a water-based vitamin, which breaks down at 60 degrees.
Limes are best kept cooled around 10 deg. It is important to keep the fruits out of direct light. Shelf life is normally 2-3 weeks. Pressed juice can be kept for a long time cooled at 5 deg. At room temperatures limes will dehydrate quickly and thus the shelf life should be expected to be only 1 week.
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