Citrus Caviar: Finger Limes Explained

August 1, 2017

Weird name, weird shape, weird texture...what's up with bizarre fruit? And why is it called "citrus caviar"?? Well, first of all: no, it doesn't taste like fish. Second: it's unlike any other fruit or vegetable out there. Third: you've GOT to try it.


Where did they come from?

Finger limes descended from a unique plant found growing wild in the Australian rainforest (no GMOs here!), where Aborigines have been eating them for thousands of years. They were almost forced to extinction during European colonization, but a few trees remained hidden in remote forested areas, and they were eventually re-discovered. A very limited number are available in the US, where this special fruit is just beginning to see commercial cultivation.


What do they taste like?

They are small (just about 3 inches long) with smooth, pebbled skin that ranges in color from light green to dark brown. The real magic is inside: instead of pulp, they contain round, juice-filled vesicles that pop with bright, tangy flavor when chewed. The flavor is intensely citrusy with herbaceous undertones. The pulp color intensifies as the season progresses, peaking from fall to mid-winter.


Whats are Finger Limes? by Cooking on the Weekends 

How do you choose them?

Select finger limes with smooth, firm green to reddish brown skin. Don't be alarmed by brown patches or dark colors - they will not affect their flavor. Stay away from dull, dry or shriveled skin, which indicate dry vesicles inside.


How do you handle them?

Finger limes could not be easier to use: just cut in half and squeeze the vesicles out from the bottom. Store them in the refrigerator (ideal temperature at 55 degrees) in a clamshell or wrapped in plastic for a shelf life of up to three weeks.


Scallop Ceviche with Finger Limes by More than Burnt Toast

How do you eat them?

If you'd use lime juice in it, you can use finger lime on it! Add to any dish in need of a punch of citrus flavor as a garnish. Here are some of our favorite ideas for using this incredible fruit:


  1. Seafood pairs especially well with finger lime and can be elevated to another level with the addition of a few vesicles of finger lime.
  2. Mix into a fruit salad or veggie quinoa salad for an unexpected citrus punch.
  3. Add finger lime pulp to the top of your favorite sushi for a serious match made in heaven.
  4. Top ice cream cake (or cupcakes!) with a dollop of finger lime for a refreshing, bright summer dessert.


Ooorrr, like we do, just squeeze 'em right into your mouth like pop rocks!

Posted by:
Rebecca Lubienski

Fresh produce, food trends, authentic foods, finger limes, trendy, specialty produce, cirtrus cavier, citrus

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