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A lime is a citrus fruit with acidic juice vesicles that is generally spherical, green in color, and 3″6 centimetres (1.2″2.4 in) in diameter.
The Key lime (Citrus aurantiifolia), Persian lime, kaffir lime, and desert lime are among the citrus trees whose fruits are known as limes. Limes are high in vitamin C, have a sour taste, and are frequently used to enhance the flavor of dishes and beverages. They are cultivated all year. Lime-producing plants come from a variety of genetic backgrounds; they are not a monophyletic group.
The biological intricacy of the citrus genus, to which the bulk of limes belong, makes distinguishing which kinds of fruit are termed lime in different regions of the English-speaking globe (and the same problem applies to synonyms in other European languages) more difficult. This genus’ species rapidly hybridize, and genetic research have just lately begun to give information on the genus’ structure. The bulk of cultivated species are hybrids, created from the citron (Citrus medica), mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), pomelo (Citrus maxima), and several lime types, particularly the micrantha (Citrus hystrix var. micrantha).
The majority of citrus plant species and hybrids known as “limes” are native to tropical Southeast Asia and South Asia. They spread over the world as a result of migration and commerce. The kaffir lime was one of the first citrus fruits to be brought by humans to other regions of the planet. The Austronesian expansion (c. 3000″1500 BCE) carried them throughout Micronesia and Polynesia. From as early as 1200 BCE, they were also disseminated into the Middle East and the Mediterranean region via the spice and incense trade routes.
During the 19th century, British seamen were given a daily ration of citrus, such as lemon, to avoid scurvy, which was eventually converted to lime. Scurvy was a common scourge of numerous national ships, and the ability to stay at sea for long periods of time without catching the condition was a great asset for the military. Because of their frequent usage of limes, British sailors earned the moniker “Limey.”
Limes have a greater sugar and acid content than lemons. Lime juice is available in both unsweetened and sweetened variants, and can be squeezed from fresh limes or purchased in bottles. Lime juice is used to produce limeade and is a common element in many cocktails (usually as a sour mix).
Lime pickles are a staple of Indian cuisine, particularly in the south. Lemon or lime pickle is commonly included in the Onam Sadhya in Kerala. Sweetened lime pickle, salted lime pickle, and lime chutney are some of the other Indian lime recipes.
Lime is used in cooking for its acidity as well as the flowery perfume of its zest. It’s a staple in authentic Mexican, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisine. Lime soup is a classic Mexican meal from the Yucatan state. It’s also used in ceviche for its pickling characteristics. Lime juice is called for in several guacamole recipes.
The use of dried limes (also known as black limes or limoo) as a flavoring is common in Persian, Iraqi, and Eastern Arabian cuisines such as baharat (a spice mixture that is also called kabsa or kebsa).