Posted Friday March 10th 2023
A lime (from French lime, from Arabic lima, from Persian limu, "lemon") is a citrus fruit, which is typically round, green in color, 1.2–2.4 inches in diameter, and contains acidic juice vesicles.
- There are several species of citrus trees whose fruits are called limes
- The Key lime
- Persian lime
- Makrut lime
- Desert lime
- Limes are a rich source of vitamin C
- Limes are sour, and are often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages.
- They are grown year-round.
- Limes have varying origins within tropical Southeast Asia and South Asia.
- They were spread throughout the world via migration and trade.
- The makrut lime, in particular, was one of the earliest citrus fruits introduced to other parts of the world by humans.
- They were spread into Micronesia and Polynesia via the Austronesian expansion (c. 3000–1500 BCE).
- They were also later spread into Middle East, and the Mediterranean region via the spice trade and the incense trade routes from as early as ~1200 BCE.
- Limes have higher contents of sugars and acids than lemons do.
- Lime juice is used to make limeade, and as an ingredient (typically as sour mix) in many cocktails.
- In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest.
To prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus, such as lemon, and later switched to lime. The use of citrus was initially a closely guarded military secret, as scurvy was a common scourge of various national navies, and the ability to remain at sea for lengthy periods without contracting the disorder was a huge benefit for the military. British sailors thus acquired the nickname "Limey" because of their use of limes.