Do you know what this is?
Alien fish egg pod?
Tiny cucumber relative?
Bizarre Australian citrus fruit?
If you guessed the last one, you are correct. The little strange green pod are called finger limes, or Citrus australasica if you are into scientific names (I can’t be the only biology nerd out there). Finger limes are native to the Land Down Under, are about 4 – 8 cm in length, and come in a variety of colours from pink to brown to yellow to green (and all colours in between it seems). The ones I had were all a dark green/black colour, and the fruit inside ranged from white to pale pink.
I saw these while I was roaming the produce section at work recently, and got weirdly excited because I had just read an article on them somewhere. I never thought I’d see them in my grocery store – they seemed so exotic, I would have to pay top dollar at some yuppie downtown market. Okay, so I still paid top dollar (I refuse to price them out by weight, because I might cry), but I had to take them home with me to give them a try. You’ve gotta treat yourself sometimes!
They have a relatively robust peel that may require a fingernail or knife to break into . They have an intense lime scent when you break them open, and are filled with fruit that looks like fish roe – no wonder they are often referred to as lime caviar. The little lime beads burst in your mouth with a tart lime flavour. They are fun to eat – just squeeze or suck them out of their pods. They pop in your mouth like the flying fish roe you often find adorning sushi rolls. I love how sour and intense they are. I imagine they would make a fun garnish on a dessert or even on a seafood dish. I bet it would take many diners by surprise once they realized it was lime. Apparently they also make good marmalade and pickles as well.
If you ever see these in your local grocery store, love lime, and have a few spare $$ in your pocket, pick them up and try them out. They’re trendy and fun! You can weird out your friends if they don’t know what you are eating. And I bet kids would find them pretty cool too.
Have you tried finger limes before? What did you think?