[Sca-cooks] Lemons? Limes? Confusion?

otsisto otsisto at socket.net
Mon Jul 7 00:45:57 PDT 2008

take with grain of salt
(note I tried to tinyurl but the website seems to be having problems)
"Limes  are a smallish fruit  which belong to the plant family Rutaceae
(citrus family).  They are similar to lemons but generally smaller and have
a fresher taste and a more aromatic smell. The whole of the plant is used
for culinary purposes i.e. the juice, skin (pericarp),  pulp in some cases
the leaves and the fruits are usually picked and used when unripe (green).
When fully ripe the fruit are yellow.

Origin and History

The Lime is a native of the East Indies and has spread all over the world in
tropical and near tropical regions. Here we are going to concentrate on the
three best known varieties used in cooking.

Mexican lime Arabian traders introduced it to North Africa and the Near East
towards the end of the 10th Century AD and it was in turn introduced  the
Mediterranean by the Crusaders during the 12th and 13th Centuries AD. Good
old Columbus is credited with having introduced  it to the New World and
Spanish immigrants took it on to Florida where the success in its
cultivation in the Florida Keys led to it being referred to as the Key Lime.
Key limes are much smaller than Persian limes.

Persian Lime also known as Tahiti Lime (Citrus latifolia) is from uncertain
origins. It is thought to be a hybrid of the Mexican Lime (see above)  and
Citron (Citrus medica) developed in the early 20th century.  They are larger
than the Mexican lime,  usually seedless and less less acidic.

Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix.) is native to South East Asia. Popular in Thai,
Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines (amongst others), it is the leaves which
are mostly used. As this plant grows wild in many places, one can only
assume that it has been used for culinary purposes for thousands of years."

-----Original Message-----
From: sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:sca-cooks-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org]On Behalf Of Huette von
Sent: Monday, July 07, 2008 12:39 AM
To: Cooks within the SCA
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lemons? Limes? Confusion?

According to the OED, the first printed instance of the use of the word
"Lime" as a fruit or fruit tree was in 1638.  In fact, the first meaning of
"lime" in the OED is about birdlime, which was used first in the 8th
century.  The chemical "lime" started in the 14th century.  The OED lists
five different meanings of "lime" before it gets to the fruit meaning. I
doubt very much if Shakespeare was referring to the fruit when he used the
word "lime" twelve times.  More likely he was referring to the substance or


--- On Sat, 7/5/08, Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps <dephelps at embarqmail.com>

> From: Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps <dephelps at embarqmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lemons? Limes? Confusion?
> To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Date: Saturday, July 5, 2008, 5:42 PM
> Shakespeare mentions in his plays oranges twice, lemons once
> and limes
> twelve times. In the case of limes this would suggest more
> than a passing
> acquaintance with the fruit.
> Daniel
> _______________________________________________
> Sca-cooks mailing list
> Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
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