||This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2009)|
Lime (from Arabic and French lim) is a term referring to a citrus fruit which is typically round, green in colour, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C, and are often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages. They are grown all year round and are usually smaller and less sour than lemons.
To prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus, such as lemon, and later switched to lime, which was not as effective at preventing scurvy but was easier to obtain on Britain's Caribbean colonies. It was later discovered that the greater effectiveness of lemons derived from the 4-fold higher quantities of vitamin C contained in lemon juice compared to the West Indian limes used by the British. This was initially a closely guarded military secret, as scurvy was a common enemy of various nations' navies, and the ability to remain at sea for lengthy periods without contracting scurvy was a huge benefit for the military. The British sailor thus acquired the nickname of being a "Limey" because of their usage of limes.
Lime juice may be squeezed from fresh limes, or purchased in bottles in both unsweetened and sweetened varieties. Lime juice is used to make limeade, and as an ingredient (typically as sour mix) in many cocktails.
In India, the lime is used in Tantra for removing evil spirits. It is also combined with Indian chillies to make a protective charm to repel the evil eye. Furthermore, it was believed that hanging limes over sick people cured them of the illness by repelling evil spirits lurking inside the body.
In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest. It is a very common ingredient in authentic Mexican, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. It is also used for its pickling properties in ceviche.
The use of dried limes (called black lime or loomi) as a flavouring is typical of Persian cuisine and Iraqi cuisine, as well as in Gulf-style baharat (a spice mixture that is also called kabsa or kebsa).
Lime is an essential ingredient of any cuisine from India, and many varieties of pickles are made, e.g. sweetened lime pickle, salted pickle, and lime chutney.
Lime leaves are also used as a herb in South, East, and Southeast Asia. Lime is frequently used to add flavour to cold and hot drinks, including water, tonic and other cocktails.
When human skin is exposed to ultraviolet light after lime juice contact, a reaction known as phytophotodermatitis can occur, which can cause darkening of the skin, swelling or blistering. Bartenders handling limes and other citrus fruits when preparing cocktails may develop phytophotodermatitis due to the high concentration of furocoumarins in limes.
India, with about 16% of the world's overall lemon and lime output, tops the production list, followed by Mexico (~14.5%), Argentina (~10%), Brazil (~8%), and Spain (~7%).
|Top ten lemon and lime producers — 2007|
|People's Republic of China||745,100F|
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ F = FAO estimate
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lime|
Here you can share your comments or contribute with more information, content, resources or links about this topic.