Have you seen one of these oblong shaped fruits/veggies/alien egg pods at your farmers market yet?
Finger Limes are popping up a bit more at Farmers Markets in the So Cal area and if you ever see any, you need to buy them! These subtropical fruits, originally from Australia, are becoming culinary darlings and fantastic in any recipe calling for lime, especially fish dishes, drinks, deserts and salads. (Don’t over do it though… it could be easy to overpower your dish by adding too much.) Not only will this add a great citrus flavor, the added texture from the ‘caviar’ popping in your mouth will set your dish apart and leave your guests wondering what the heck is on their food. Totally worth it!
Up to three inches in length, Finger Limes skin color varies from dark green to reddish brown and a few shades in between. Once you cut them in half, the pearls of juice appear and also range in color from white to pink (although I’ve heard other colors are being cultivated). The easiest way to extract this ‘caviar’ is to squeeze the fruit from the ends and let them pour out. The vesicles are pretty firm, so don’t be afraid of smashing them when you squeeze. (You might even want to squeeze it right into your mouth to get the full citrus, pop-rock effect.)
These guys are little, so keep your eyes peeled for them. Shanley Farms, in Visalia, California, is currently the largest grower of Finger Limes and you’ll find them at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market through December. (They also have excellent avocados and fresh goji berries, for those of you that have had only dried ones.) No luck at the farmers markets? Try Melissa’s Produce to purchase online. They might even get them from Shanley!
In season: August – January