If oranges and lemons tend to hog the limelight then it’s not because limes lack bite. The lime has a stronger more sour taste than lemon and is a dynamic little culinary catalyst.
It is mainly used for its juice in Asian curries or, along with its zest, as a marinade or salsa for fish and chicken. In ceviches it effectively “cooks” the raw seafood.
Use the juice to make a refreshing sorbet with mint and a splash of vodka, or to liven up icing on a cupcake. Lime juice muddled with brown sugar syrup, rum, soda and spearmint makes a mojito or, for a more crude cocktail, stick a wedge in the top of an ice cold bottle of Mexican beer.
The sourness in limes provides a great foil to sweet dishes: for example, in Florida’s famous Key lime pie where it partners crushed Digestive biscuits and condensed milk, or in a sponge pudding topped with lime curd and mascarpone.
Choose limes that are firm and heavy for their size, and have a glossy, deep green skin – the colour indicates that they are at the peak of their zingy tartness.