WHAT IS IT?
Want that luscious lime taste in recipes like a dry mix, or where the fruit either needs to be added to intensify, or add a hint of taste, or a fragrance, dry lime powder usually trumps the fresh, or liquid fruit juice.
Made from lime juice that is freeze-dried, at the peak of freshness, then ground, the powder lends a more intensified version of lime taste than the fresh fruit.
It doesn’t have the stabilizers that can affect taste, but are used to preserve the juice in bottles, without refrigeration, on store shelves.
JUICE OR DRIED FRUIT?
The juice powder is best in dishes where the dried peel/rind of a granulated, or dried/sliced lime might contribute a bittersweet taste.
Freeze dried fruit has a shorter shelf life than other spices. You can watch the color fade as it ages. Order, as needed, in smaller amounts. Best within three months of delivery, use within six months. You can extend its life by inserting a desiccant pack to the storage container to reduce moisture and keep it fresh a bit longer.
Limes are native to Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, but their origins and/or transport to Indonesia, are a part of history lost to time.
They arrived in the Mediterranean, and North Africa after 1000 CE. They were used culinarily much more quickly than lemons, finding their way into foods and spices in North Africa a few centuries before lemons stopped being largely ornamentals.
Today, India, Mexico, and China are the biggest producers of fresh limes.
- Baharat spice blend
- Ottolenghi – Iranian vegetable stew
- Gormeh Sabzi – Persian chicken stew
- Naomi Duguid – Kurdish white beans & tomatoes with dried lime
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Perfect lime sorbet
- Ghost pepper-lime chicken burger
- Cilantro-lime rice
- Raspberry-Lime crusted pork roast
Limes were a secret military weapon, for a time. A British physician stumbled upon citrus’ ability to prevent scurvy during the 19th century. British sailors received a daily rations of citrus, which was a closely guarded military secret, as it allowed British ships to be at sea for longer periods without their sailors contracting scurvy. It’s why Brits are sometimes referred to as “Limey.”
Freeze drying was an ancient art of the Incas, but largely lost to the culinary world until the 1950s, when techniques to freeze dry plants for medicinal purposes was expanded commercially to foods. It didn’t gain any real traction for another twenty years.
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