Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Lime: Yummy Fruits A-Z

Limes are rather famous, and deservedly so. This smaller of the citrus fruit family saved untold numbers of British sailors from getting scurvy in the nineteenth century. Scurvy is a disfiguring disease that in advanced stages can cause one's teeth to fall out, oozing skin sores, jaundice, fever, neuropathy, and even death. 

Scurvy is caused by a deficiency in vitamin C, of which the lime happens to be high in, as is its competitor, the lemon. In fact, a lemon is four times higher in vitamin C, but limes were more available in the 19th century (from the West Indies), and became the main fruit of the British navy sailing the high seas. The sailors even acquired the nickname, "limey." 

Lime trees grow to about 16 feet high and can be found in tropical and subtropical climates. The origin of limes is not known. Some speculate they may have come from the Indonesian archipelago or nearby Asia. Christoper Columbus is credited with taking the first lime seed to the West Indies where it was planted in 1493. Today limes are grown all over the world. Brazil is the top producer, followed by Mexico, the U.S. (mainly Florida), and the West Indies. 

Lime Recipe

"Perky Lime Sauce"

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh lime (rind)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Combine sugar, cornstarch, water and a dash of salt in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and turns clear. Remove from burner. Add butter, lime rind and juice. Mix well. Cool before serving. Yield: 1 cup 

(Best served over diced cantaloupe and scoops of vanilla ice cream, but you can experiment. Try over bananas and gingerbread).  

Lime Joke

Lime Books

--A Lime, a Mime, a Pool of Slime (More about Nouns) (2008)
by Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable

  --Lime Tree Can't Bear Orange (2009) by Amanda Smyth

--A Parachute in the Lime Tree (2012)  by Annemarie Neary

Lime Songs

--"Corona and Lime" by Shwayze (2009)
--"The Lime Tree" by Trevor Hall (2009)

--"Lime in the Coconut" by Kermit the Frog (2008) (video link)



  1. I love limes. We have a dwarf lime in our backyard that gives tons of fruit in season, and we make a lot of guacamole! We also have some Indian recipes that call for juice of lemon or lime, and we always like the lime versions best. Thanks for such an interesting history about limes. I didn't realize that's why British sailors were called "limeys".

    1. How wonderful you have your own lime tree. I like lime juice on papaya too. That guacamole sounds yummy, too!

  2. This lime sauce sounds fabulous. I think lime makes almost anything taste even yummier. Love it.

    1. I agree. I've been experimenting with limes. I even like it on fish, which normally requires lemon juice.

  3. For some reason your lime post made me want a gin & tonic ... even though we have it with lemon. :P

    1. Or a Corona Light :) which always comes with a lime.

  4. My husband is a huge fan of limes...anything with lime in it draws him like a magnet! I myself have always enjoyed Lime in the Coconut (the song, that is!)

    1. Good for him. Must be that vitamin C he craves, huh. Kermit and crew sure are cute :)

  5. Love your post about everything lime. History, recipe, books and songs. The recipe looks a yummy idea, and who doesn't love "Lime in the Coconut"! Thanks for sharing.
    Dropping by on the A to Z. :)

    1. Let me know how well the recipe works. I'm curious if works on other fruits.

  6. I just saw somewhere something about lemons and limes. As in, can you really tell the difference just by taste? The article hinted that maybe the answer is no.

    1. I would be surprised if people couldn't tell the difference. I sure can!

  7. The minute I saw "lime" the words "you put the lime in the coconut and eat it all up" came to mind. My son likes to squirt lime on his Mexican food and when he is doing so, or I'm buying limes at the store, that song comes to mind :)

    I did learn something new that the trees grow so tall; that's pretty impressive!


    1. Oh, what a sweet memory....and such a cute song, too. Thanks, Betty!

  8. I love Limes-better than lemons to me. I love that song as well and now it is in my head:)

  9. Hi Sharon,
    Its very informative and at the same time very interesting too
    The "Lime in the Coconut" video is really interesting.
    Thanks for sharing
    Have a wonderful time of a to zing!!!!
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip

  10. Thank you...very busy for all. Same to you!


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