By: Information sourced Sydney Markets
Ask any great chef of cook what his or her secret ingredient is and chances are they will say "acid" in the form of lemon, vinegar or lime. It's true that any sweet or savoury dish is enhanced with a dash of acetic acid or citric acid. It helps to bring out the flavours and reduces the need to add too much salt.
At this time of year when the temperature rises so does the cost of lemons so it's worth turning your attention to limes which, although still a little pricey right now, will continue to drop in price right up until the end of their season in April.
It makes good sense to use limes instead of imported lemons during this time of year as limes are much better value.
The main variety of limes grown in Australia is the large greenish - yellow skinned Tahitian lime. Smaller than a lemon, limes are picked green and as they ripen turn yellow, become juicier and sweeter. Unlike lemons, limes rarely have seeds. The pulp is abundant, juicy and has a delicate sour acidic flavour.
Used extensively in the tropics for juices such as limeade and cordials, food flavourings and pickles, both the juice and the rind of limes can be used in cooking in the same way as lemons. The aromatic rind is rich in natural oils and adds excellent flavour to a range of dishes.
Limes are ideal for using in cheesecakes, meringue pies, puddings, sauces and salad dressing. To obtain the maximum amount of juice from a lime, warm the fruit in the microwave for 30 seconds or roll firmly on the kitchen bench then juice.
Limes are grown in Northern NSW, particularly near Lismore and Alstonville, and in Northern Queensland, which produces all year around.
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