English Name: Lime
Botanical Name: citrus aurantifolia
Yoruba Name: Osàn wewe
Igbo Name: Oloma nkirisi
Hausa Name: Karemi lemu
DESCRIPTION: Green relative of the lemon fruit used for cooking and juice making also rich in vitamin C. Grown in tropics and subtropical areas and it’s an edible acid fruit and the tree seldom grows more than 5m (16ft)
ORIGIN: some extent in Egypt and other tropical countries. Limes probably originated in the Indonesian archipelago or the nearby mainland of Asia. The Arabs may have taken limes, as well as lemons, from India to the eastern Mediterranean countries and Africa around ad1000. Limes were introduced to the western Mediterranean countries by returning crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. Columbus took citrus-fruits seeds, probably including limes, to the West Indies on his second voyage in 1493, and the trees soon became widely distributed in the West Indies, Mexico, and Florida.
Brazil lead in lime production around 700,000 metric tons per year. Mexico produces about 530,000 tons annually and the US about 44,000 in southern Florida. It was also nicknamed “Limey” by the British sailors who used it to ward off scurvy.
NATURAL BENEFITS: Limes contains vitamin c (ascorbic acid), used to prevent scurvy.
USES: The lime fruit is used as a key ingredient in certain pickles and chutneys. The juice is used to flavour drinks, foods and confections also used to make lime oil which is mostly processed in the West Indies.