Walk The Lime: A Guide To Varietals

When you’re looking to add some citrusy goodness to the plate, limes more than get the job done. Sweeter and less acidic than their yellow cousins, limes bring a crisp tartness to everything from cocktails to pies. Brush up on your citrus knowledge beforehand as we discuss varietals both common and exotic.

Persian Limes

The most popular and commonplace lime varietal, Persian limes are most likely what you picture when you think of “limes.” Packed to the brim with flavor, they are tantalizingly tart and popular worldwide. Though sold dark green, Persians will actually lighten in color as they ripen.

Key Limes

Resembling miniature Persian limes, key limes are actually an entirely different variety. Key limes are renown for their intense flavor and aroma, though they do contain less juice than other varieties due to their size. When selecting key limes, be sure to choose ones with thin, tough skin that are heavy for their size.

  • Fun Fact: Key Limes actually gain a yellow hue when ripe!

Sweet Limes

More rare than other varieties, sweet limes are used primarily for their juice. True to their name, their are much sweeter than other limes, and work wonderfully in limeade. They’re so sweet in fact, that they require little to no sugar after juicing! Be sure to stock up if you can get your hands on some, as they have a short summer season.

Kaffir Limes

Often referred to as Makrut limes, Kaffirs are easily identifiable due to their bumpy texture. Substantially more sour than other varieties, Kaffir’s are used extensively in cuisines throughout southern Asia, particularly Thailand and Malaysia. Save the leaves from Kaffir limes if you can, as they make great additions to curries!