Food glossary

Slices of lime


These bright green citrus fruits have a tangy flavour and add a kick to both sweet and savoury dishes. They ripen to a yellowy-green colour, although their distinctive green flesh stays the same colour. Limes are thought to originate from Malaysia and they are still the most popular citrus fruit in the tropics. To preserve the freshness of the skin, most citrus fruit is soaked, washed and waxed before packing. Waxed and unwaxed limes are available.

Use unwaxed limes for slicing and adding to drinks or using as a garnish and when the zest is required. If a recipe uses lime juice waxed limes are the best choice. If you prefer to use unwaxed limes but only waxed are available, simply lightly scrub the peel first to remove the wax. Available all year.

Uses: Lime juice and zest can be used in the same way as lemon juice and zest, but use only two-thirds of the quantity given for lemons as the flavour is stronger. Add to numerous dishes for a tangy citrus flavour - from sorbets, fruit salads and mousses to fish and poultry dishes. Use lime slices to garnish food or to add to cold drinks.

To store: Keep at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

To prepare: To gain the maximum amount of juice, remove limes from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature before squeezing. To remove the zest, use a zester, grater or potato peeler, but handle carefully because their skin is much thinner than lemon skin.

Lime juice cordial

A sweetened concentrated pale green lime syrup that needs to be diluted before drinking.

Uses: Lime juice cordial can be diluted with still or sparkling water and it is also used as a mixer for vodka.