Mexican Key Limes
Inventory, 30 lbs : 3.94
This item was last sold on : 12/09/23
Key limes are small in size, averaging 3-5 centimeters in diameter, and are round to somewhat elliptical in shape with a short neck on one end. The thin rind is smooth with a leathery texture, bears many small pores that are visible across the skin, and transforms from green to dark green with pale yellow blush when mature. The rind is also full of volatile oils, which can be released by zesting or scratching the surface and is aromatic with floral notes. Underneath the rind, the yellow-green flesh is juicy, fine-grained, soft, filled with inedible seeds, and is divided into 10-12 segments by thin membranes. Key limes have a tart, very acidic taste with floral, herbal notes and some bitter undertones.
Key limes are available year-round, with a peak season from the late summer to early winter.
Key limes, botanically classified as Citrus aurantiifolia, are small fruits found on thorny, evergreen trees that can grow up to three meters in height and belong to the Rutaceae or citrus family. Also known as the Mexican lime, West Indian lime, and Bartender’s Lime, depending on the region the fruit is grown in, Key limes grow in tropical to subtropical climates and are valued by chefs and home cooks for their tart juice and aromatic zest for both sweet and savory culinary applications.
Key limes are a great source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium, and contain zinc, iron, calcium, and phosphorus. The essential oils found in the rind of Key limes, containing over sixty different volatile compounds, also provide antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and antioxidant properties.
Key limes are best suited for fresh applications, and both the juice and zest are utilized in sweet and savory preparations. The limes add a tart flavor to numerous beverages such as limeade, fruit punch, and cocktails, and can be incorporated into jams, marinades, syrups, sauces, and marmalades. Key limes are also popularly used in desserts such as Key lime pie, cakes, sorbet, sherbet, and ice cream, and can be used in savory dishes including salads, tacos, ceviche, Thai coconut chicken soup, pickled and fried as an appetizer, or garnished over grilled fish such as salmon. Key limes pair well with meats such as fish, poultry, pork, and beef, rice, quinoa, cilantro, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, onions, and tomatoes. The limes will keep up to two weeks when stored in a cool and dry place. The juice will keep for 2-3 months when stored in the freezer.
In the United States, Key limes are most well-known for their use in Key lime pie which was created in the 1850s after condensed milk was invented for commercial use. In Central America, Key limes are known as Mexican limes are used in savory dishes such as sopa de lima, which is a chicken soup with vegetables, and in liquors, cocktails, and pastries in Mexico. In addition to culinary applications, the lime juice has been used to dye leather in the Caribbean, while the powdered dried peel is used to clean metal in India.
Limes are native to Asia in an area described as the Indo-Malayan region, which stretches from India to Southeastern Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and have been growing since ancient times. Key limes were then believed to have been brought to North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region by Arabian traders in the 10th century and to the Western Mediterranean region by crusaders during the 11th and 12th centuries. On his second trip to the New World in 1493, Christopher Columbus introduced the fruits and the seeds to the West Indies where they were planted throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida. By 1883, Key limes were being grown commercially in Florida until a hurricane in the 1920s destroyed the majority of the crop. Today, Key or Mexican limes are predominately grown in Mexico and Central America and can also be found at farmers markets and specialty grocers in the United States, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
|Bang Bang||San Diego CA||619-382-8938|
|Lime in the Coconut||Chula Vista CA||619-820-0961|
|InterContinental Vistal Kitchen||San Diego CA||619-501-9400|
|Sycuan Casino||El Cajon CA||619-445-6002|
|Monello||San Diego CA||619-822-5493|
|Camino Riviera||San Diego CA||619-685-3881|
|Mission Pacific||Oceanside CA||760-450-7864|
|Tahona (Kitchen)||San Diego CA||619-573-0289|
|El Sueno||San Diego CA||619-972-6286|
|La Costa Wine Co.||Carlsbad CA||760-431-8455|
|Sugar Bear Enterprises||San Diego CA||925-383-3623|
|Sheraton Carlsbad (Banquets)||Carlsbad CA||760-827-2400|
|Kitchens for Good (SD)||San Diego CA||619-450-4040|
|Nolita Hall||San Diego CA||619-618-8820|
|Nobu||San Diego CA||619-814-4124|
|Harumama Sushi & Ramen (Ocean Beach)||San Diego CA||858-886-9909|
Recipes that include Mexican Key Limes. One is easiest, three is harder.