One of the most oft forgotten principles of cooking is that it pays to begin with the best quality ingredients. No matter how good your salad dressing is, for instance, if your vegetables are wilted, your salad will still look and taste awful. Then, there is an article that differentiates between the quality of line-caught fish and net-caught fish that says line-caught fish are much better than net-caught fish. For the average consumer, it’s not like we always have the luxury of choosing what’s best or what’s most ethical. Most times, the first consideration is affordability. We buy the most reasonably priced available food items. That’s the reality.
In my case, I try to grow what isn’t always available in the market. I also try to grow what I find too expensive in the market. Like lemon. And lime. I have a lemon tree that’s growing quite wonderfully, I have a kaffir lime tree that looks like it will finally survive and thrive (two other kaffir limes died) and I have a lime tree that already bears fruit.
The lime fruits on the tree in my garden are rather small though. I don’t know if it’s a strain issue or soil issue. Well, the size is secondary to me. The important thing is that the tree didn’t die, it is growing and it is bearing fruits.
Why lime? Kalamansi, the native citrus, is available all-year round in markets and they are not expensive at all. Well, it isn’t exactly true that a citrus is a citrus is a citrus. Different citrus fruits have varying levels of acidity. The aroma differs from one fruit to another too.
Lime is usually sweeter than lemon and kalamansi and the rind has floral notes. It is used extensively in Thai, Vietnamese, South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Even the leaves are sometimes used as ingredient.
At home, I like adding slices of fresh lime to my drinking water and as an alternative to lemon when I brew a pot of tea. My husband uses lime to mix mojito. I use freshly squeezed lime juice to make salad dressings and dipping sauces. When my lime tree is mature enough to bear fruits every day of the year, I’m sure I’ll discover many other uses for the lime fruit.