Australia

Fantastic finger limes pack a punch with flavor-bursting pearls


I picked up a fascinating fruit at the grocery store this week — finger limes.  They are just a little longer than an inch and are less than half an inch wide.  Being a gardener and a foodie – I had to have them.

I have a sliver of fresh lime in my hot tea in the morning and thought these would be great for that.

Reading the label, I was curious.  “Delicious pearls bursting with lemon/lime flavor.  Use on fish, in cocktails, ice cream baked goods and guacamole.  Slice for rings, squeeze for pearls.”

What?

So I took my trusty paring knife and sliced.  And then I squeezed.  It was the strangest sight.  The segments, or vesicles, aren’t triangular in shape, like most citrus, but rather round pearls that burst forth from the fruit.  They literally POP in your mouth, much like caviar.  The fruit is firm, and not very juicy and its flavor is tart and slightly more bitter than most other limes.

The finger lime tree is native to Australia, and grows in the rainforest as an understory tree.  The skin can be green, yellow, red or purple. 

Needless to say, there’s a tree on its way to my house as I write this. 

I know, I know, we don’t live in a rainforest!  But a girl can dream, can’t she?