Lime is a wonderfully versatile ingredient, used in both savory and sweet dishes around world. But where does this tart and tangy fruit come from?
The lime - also known as Citrus aurantifolia - is native to Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, where it is believed to have originated. It was likely first cultivated in India and is still used in many traditional dishes there.
Limes were introduced to New World by Spanish sailors in 16th century. The first lime trees imported to United States were planted in Florida, where they quickly spread to other parts of sunbelt. The lime was an important crop in Florida until 1920s.
Today, limes are grown in many parts of world, including Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, South America, Hawaii and Mediterranean. Mexico is world’s largest producer of limes, accounting for approximately 55 percent of global production.
Limes are widely available in grocery stores and markets throughout United States, as well as online. They are typically picked when still green, but if left to mature, they will ripen to a yellow color.
Limes can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads, salsa and drinks to desserts and even main dishes. They are popularly used to flavor ceviche and to make classic margarita cocktail. Limes are also a great source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber and essential minerals, making them a healthful addition to your diet.
In short, limes are a delicious and versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of dishes around world. Whether eaten raw, added to a recipe or used to make a cocktail, limes are a great way to give your dish a boost of flavor. So next time you’re looking to add a little zest to your meal, reach for a lime!