Types of Limes: Amazing Varieties of Lime Fruit With Pictures

Green, smooth zesty skin with touches of yellow are common characteristics of lime fruit, which belong to the citrus family. Limes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they’re all hybrid fruits. Key limes, Mexican limes, Bearss limes, and Tahiti limes are the most common types of limes. Finger limes, kaffir limes with a pitted skin, and Philippine limes with orange flesh are among the other types of limes available.

The flavor and scent of lime fruits are similar to those of lemons, but they are slightly different. Limes are usually less sweet and sharper than lemons, although this is subjective to preference. As a result, limes play an essential role in many cuisines. Lime pie is primarily made with lime juice and zest, as well as lime rinds for garnish and to flavor oils and vinegar, while several Mexican, Thai, while Vietnamese meals also include lime juice.

Limes are thought to have originated in Indonesia, where they eventually took over as the primary green citrus fruit. Several nations, including India, Mexico, China, and the United States have lime trees today. You’ll learn more about the many forms of limes and how to pick the greatest kind for cooking in this article.

Types of Limes (With Pictures and Names)

Starting with the most popular variety, the Key lime, let’s look at some of the many and varied varieties of limes in more depth.

Key Limes (Mexican limes)

The immature yellow Key lime on the left and the mature Key lime on the right. This lime variety looks bright yellow when mature, as opposed to the green Persian limes that are more common. A small type of round lime with a strong acidic flavor and aroma, key limes (Citrus aurantiifolia) are a little variety. In many countries with hot climates, key limes grow on thorny bush-like trees. Mexican lime, West Indian lime, and bartender’s lime are some of the other names for this lime variety.

Key limes are green fruits that range in size from 1″ to 2″ (2.5 to 5 cm). Key limes are smaller and have a more yellow color than other kinds of limes, such as Persian limes. The lime tree’s green-colored spherical fruits are picked while still young. As they mature and develop in flavor, they eventually turn yellow. In terms of flavor, juiciness, and scent, some individuals claim that Key limes are better than lemons.

Key lime flesh has a lot of seeds, unlike Bearss limes. The acidic flavor of this style of Mexican lime is another distinguishing feature. They are commonly utilized in cooking, baking, and to flavor cocktails because of their strong sour-sweet flavor. The lime trees thrived in the Florida Keys until they were destroyed, and this cultivar gets its name from them. Nonetheless, outside of the United States, the majority of the Citrus aurantiifolia crop is grown.

Other types of Mexican limes

Other Mexican limes have strong aromas, thin rinds, and an acidic taste, much like Key limes. Additionally, when fully ripe, Mexican limes are more yellow than green. More types of Mexican limes may be found here:

Mary Ellen sweet lime (Citrus limettioides) is a young lime with yellowish-green leaves that matures to become a round shape. It lacks the sharp taste of other Mexican limes since it lacks acidity.

Thornless Mexican lime Due to its lack of thorns, it is now a popular kind of lime-producing fruit tree. This cultivar’s lime fruit has a flavor similar to other Mexican limes and is easier to harvest.

Castello lime It is a larger kind of Mexican lime that has a similar flavor to the country’s conventional types. The flavor and juice of this lime cultivar are both excellent.

Bearss Limes (Persian Limes)

One of the most popular varieties of limes in the world is Bearss limes (Persian limes), also known as Citrus latifolia. Bearss limes are bigger, have an oval shape, and are less acidic than Key limes in terms of acidity. The fruit of Bearss limes can grow up to 2.5″ (6 cm) in diameter and are found on thornless lime trees. A seedless variation of lime, these green-skinned citrus fruits are also limes. usually, Persian limes are sold in the store.

As they mature, however, they become greenish-yellow. Bearss limes are not as acidic or bitter as Key limes, which is one difference between them. In addition, Persian limes have a thicker skin and a longer shelf life than their Mexican counterparts.

Tahiti Limes

The Tahiti lime is a seedless lime that originated in Tahiti. The oblong shape of this lime fruit variety differs from the round shape. This is a seedless kind of lime similar to Bearss limes (Persian limes). Tahiti limes and Bearss limes have very little (if any) differences when it comes to Persian lime varieties. These have a succulent flesh that is less acidic than that of Mexican limes.

Kaffir Limes

The Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) has a distinctive bumpy skin and is a popular type of lime in Asia. Kaffir limes, like many varieties of limes, develop an attractive yellow color when mature. Kaffir limes, on the other hand, are exceedingly acidic and difficult to cook with when compared to other varieties of lime fruit. In comparison to Mexican and Persian limes, kaffir limes have very little juice.

The fruits of kaffir limes are just about 2″ (4 cm) wide, making them considerably smaller than other types. Other sections of Kaffir limes, rather than the flesh, are utilized in cooking because to their lack of juice. The essential oil content of the rough rind of these little citrus fruits, for example, is significant. In addition, to provide acidity and flavor, kaffir lime peel is often used in Thai curry recipes. Dried Citrus hystrix leaves are used to flavor a variety of Asian cuisines.

Calamansi Limes (Philippine Limes)

Philippine limes (Citrus microcarpa) are a crossbreed of lime fruit that appears like a little green lime and has orange-colored flesh. The Philippines and southern Asia are home to this tiny citrus fruit. Calamondin is the name given to it in various countries. The diameter of a Philippine limes may vary from 1″ (2.5 cm) to 2″.

The ripened rind of calamondins is extremely sweet, despite the fact that the juice is quite sour. When fully ripe, these limes have an unusual feature: they resemble a tiny tangerine. As a result, whole or segmental Philippine limes are often utilized in particular meals for their taste and appearance.

Calamansi limes are decorative fruit-producing shrubs that are popular in nations outside of Asia. They may be attractive houseplants if grown in pots and containers in sub-tropical regions.

Finger Limes

The Finger Lime (Microcitrus australasica) is a finger lime that has an unusual elongated shape. The Australian finger lime or caviar lime are some other names for this citrus fruit. This seedless citrus fruit doesn’t resemble a lime in appearance, except from its green color.

The fruit is long and cylindrical, with a rough, bumpsy skin that ends in an apex. Finger lime fruits might seem more like a short kind of cucumber and may reach up to 3″ (8 cm) in length.

A distinguishing characteristic of this citrus fruit is its name, which translates to “caviar lime.” Finger limes have a look similar to tiny caviar pearls rather than ordinary oblong citrus fruit juice sacs when their flesh is sliced open. Biting into these lime pearls produces tart, acidic juice with a nice crispness.

Lime-green, red, light yellow, and light pink are some of the colors available in different finger limes. As a garnish for various meals, you may utilize the meaty pearls from Finger limes. Seafood, chicken, and some desserts can all benefit from the pearls’ sour flavor.

Blood Limes

Due to their red color and sweet tangy flavor, blood limes are a one-of-a-kind kind of red sweet lime fruit. Blood limes are quite tiny when compared to conventional lime types. Their crimson egg-shaped fruits are just 1.5 inches (4 cm) long and 0.7 inches (2 cm) broad.

Blood limes, on the other hand, have a skin that you can eat alongside the flesh. A red finger lime and a mandarin hybrid or Rangpur lime were used to create this red lime variety. Little blood-red, sweet limes with slightly pitted skin resulted as a consequence.

Rangpur Limes

Rangpur limes (Citrus jambhiri Lush.) are a cross between a citron fruit and mandarin orange, despite their name. This fruit is sometimes referred to as an Indian Mandarin lime by certain people. The acidic flavor of Rangpur limes is comparable to that of a conventional lime, even though they appear like a little orange.

As a result, they are frequently featured on the lists of unusual limes. Marmalade is one of Rangpur limes’ most frequent uses. In reality, these limes are preferred over Seville oranges for marmalade in regions where they grow.

Limequat

Limequats (Citrus floridana) are a cross between Key limes and kumquats with bitter-sweet flesh and sweet-tasting skin. Limequats are a cross between Key limes and kumquats, and they are green at first but turn lemon-yellow as they mature. As a result, fully mature limequats resemble lemons rather than limes. Their light green flesh, on the other hand, has a stronger lime flavor.

Several countries, including the United States, Spain, Malaysia, Japan, and Israel have limequats as native plants. Limequat trees, which can endure temperatures as low as 50°F (10°C), are tougher than lime trees. Limequats are excellent decorative houseplants in cooler regions since they prefer containers and pots. Eustis, Lakeland, and Tavares are the three limequat cultivars available.

Omani Dried Limes

Dried limes are utilized as a spice in Omani meals, and they are a tiny kind of lime. Black lime, loomi, limoo amani, or Noomi Basra are some of the names for these dried limes. The small limes are dried in the sun before being added to different recipes to create a powerful citrusy flavor. Dried limes have a distinctlime flavor with undertones of earthiness and smoke. You may order dried Omani limes online or from specialized food shops if you want to experience the distinct flavor.

How to Pick Ripe Limes

It’s critical to understand when limes are ripe when selecting limes for use in the kitchen. It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a young lime and one that has completely ripened. Green limes are often picked before they are completely ripe. When they are most flavorful, the most common varieties of limes you can buy in a store – Tahiti limes, Persian limes, or Key limes – are yellowish-green rather than dark green.

Choosing a ripe lime is simple:

  • Make sure the rind color of a Persian lime is light green with traces of yellowing before choosing it. When Mexican limes are still yellow, they have the most flavor.
  • Touch the skin to check how soft it is. Limes should have few wrinkles or pits on their skin when they’re ripe.
  • Squeeze the lime gently. The rind should soften when they’re ready, not be too hard.
  • Compare a few limes and pick the heaviest ones to see which one. Juicier and packed with flavor, these are the ones to choose.

What’s the Difference Between Lemons and Limes?

The color and flavor of lemons and limes are the most obvious distinctions. Of course, yellow and green colors may also be described by the words “lemon” and “lime. There are differences and similarities between all types of lemons and limes, despite the fact that they belong to the citrus genus.

The flavor of limes is stronger and bitterer than that of lemons due to the fact that they are more acidic. Nevertheless, lime dishes like Key lime pie may benefit from the acidity of limes like Key limes. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of personal preference when deciding whether to use lemons or limes in cooking.

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