The lime is a gourmet’s delight, although it is rarely ever consumed on it’s own. Limes are second only to lemons in terms of importance as a flavoring agent for foods, drinks and other non-edible, products for home and industrial use. Lime juice is excellent in marinades, beverages, salad dressings, guacamole, seafood, and sauces.

Limes flourish best in tropical conditions. The top five, lime-producing countries are the United States, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and India. There are essentially two varieties of limes in common use. The large fruited Tahitian type is know as the Bearss lime in California and the Persian lime in Florida. The smaller Mexican or bartender’s lime is widely known as the Key lime of Florida.

Limes are available year-round, with the peak season lasting from late April/early May through August. The lime is also famous for the role it played in 18th century English sailors becoming known as “limeys” Scurvy was the plague of sailors until it was discovered that when they received a ration of one lime a day it stopped, thus earning the nickname. It wasn’t until 1923 that they discovered it was actually the vitamin C in the lime and not the fruit itself that gave the protection. Limes sound like an easy way to get your daily dose of vitamin C.

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