Lime juice, lime zest and lime wedges are a pre­mier cov­eted player in sum­mer bev­er­ages, dips, cock­tails, dress­ings, mari­nades and desserts. Oh yeah!

Never under­es­ti­mate the power of lime to uplift or trans­form the most mun­dane to be the absolute best.

Fra­grant and refresh­ing, there is some­thing dis­tinc­tively lime that can­not be repli­cated.

Limes are inte­gral to many Mex­i­can, Thai and Viet­namese dishes. They com­pli­ment part­ners like coconut milk, cilantro, mint and chili pep­pers.

Count on lime for tor­tilla soup, corn con crema, fresh salsa, and street tacos. Leche de tigre (tiger’s milk), is a Peru­vian cit­rus mari­nade that relies on fresh lime juice for its super base.

This cit­rus fruit’s high acid con­tent and bright tart­ness make it a pow­er­ful cook­ing and bak­ing ingre­di­ent. From seafood and poul­try to fresh fruits like mango, papaya and mel­ons, the smart addi­tion of lime kicks every­thing up a notch.

Like other cit­rus fruits, limes are an excel­lent source of vit­a­min C. They have no cho­les­terol, sodium, or fat and very few calo­ries. Limes are also full of antiox­i­dants and health­ful phy­tonu­tri­ents. Keep in mind that these ben­e­fits tend to be min­i­mal as lime juice is gen­er­ally not con­sumed in very large quan­ti­ties.

Fresh limes are absent sweet­en­ers and other addi­tives of bot­tled lime juice. Prepa­ra­tion will gen­er­ally involve zest­ing, juic­ing, slic­ing, wedg­ing or peel­ing.

The United States is almost entirely reliant on Mex­ico for its sup­ply of limes About ninety eight per­cent of Amer­i­can con­sumed limes come from south of the bor­der. Any hic­cup in the sup­ply chain can have a tremen­dous affect on prices or avail­abil­ity.

In the past year, bor­der cross­ings and pro­duce inspec­tions have proved chal­leng­ing for Mex­i­can ship­pers. Increased USDA inspec­tions have more than dou­bled since March 2020. Wait times and delays add to the frus­trat­ing sup­ply process.

When choos­ing limes, it’s impor­tant to know what to look for and expect. Limes are gen­er­ally har­vested while still green and not yet com­pletely ripe.

The most pop­u­lar types of limes you can buy in the store – Tahiti lime, Per­sian limes, or Key limes – tend to be yellowish-​green rather than dark green when they are at their tasti­est.

If choos­ing a Per­sian lime, make sure the color of the rind is light green with hints of yel­low­ing. Mex­i­can limes have the best fla­vor when they have just turned yel­low. Look for smooth skin with very few dim­ples or pits.

Gen­tly squeeze the lime. When ripe, the rind should give a lit­tle and not be too hard. The heav­ier the fruit, the juicier and more fla­vor­ful.

Fresh, whole limes will keep on the coun­ter­top for about a week depend­ing on room tem­per­a­ture. Refrig­er­ated limes will keep for about a month or longer.

Squeeze them. Crush them. Sip them. Sum­mer limes know how to lift the spirits.

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