The word Lime conjures up all manner of gourmet delights, but the one that springs to mind first is the slice that is perched on the side of a salt-rimmed glass filled with crushed ice and Margaritas! The tequila and lime mix has to be the world’s best.
The lime is rarely consumed on its own. Limes are second only to lemons in terms of importance as a flavouring agent for foods, drinks and other, non-edible, products for home and industrial use. The use of lime juice and lime zest to enhance the flavour of rice, potatoes, salads, and cooked vegetables will cut down the amount of salt you need to use, and eliminate the need for adding fat. Lime juice is excellent in marinades, beverages, salad dressings, guacamole, seafood and barbecue sauces, fish and meat stews, sorbets, jams, and let us not forget Key Lime pie.
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The lime is also famous for the role it played in 18th century English sailors becoming known as "limeys." Scurvy was the plague of sailors until it was discovered that when they received a ration of one lime a day it stoped. While they knew that it worked they did not know why, and it wasn't until scientists discovered vitamin C that they figured out that it was the vitamin contained in the fruit that gave the protection. Limes should be firm, glossy, and bright in colour. For the juiciest limes, choose those that are heavy for their size with thin skins. Avoid fruit that is hard or spongy and soft, although it should have some give.
Limes are easy to grow, like most citrus trees, and they flourish best in full sun and will also do well if tended, cared for and fed, in a large container.