Available: Year Round
Cultivated throughout the tropics, limes are one of the most well known tropical fruits available. Persian or Tahiti Limes are the most common – commercially produced lime varieties because they typically have no seeds. The fruit is usually dark green in color when harvested and turns a light green once mature. Limes are available all year round but peak in volume in the summer months. We also carry key limes, a smaller, stronger and more fragrant, seedy lime variety. This lime is typically used for deserts.
Since the early 1990’s Florida limes have all but disappeared. After Hurricane Andrew, in 1992, many trees were destroyed. Some farmers replanted, but many did not. Those trees that did survive, suffered losses in the most recent citrus canker outbreak. Since 1995, citrus canker has been found and eradicated in 24 counties in Florida. All trees were destroyed. Our commercial industry now relies on limes produced in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, and Nicaragua.
Our limes are usually packed in a 38-40lb. carton counting 110, 150, 175, 200, 230, and 250; or 10 pound cartons counting 28, 36, 42, 48, 54, 63. These small boxes are available loose volume fill, or place – packed with PLU stickers. We also carry retail bags in 17 x 2lb. cartons. Key limes are packaged in 30lb. bulk cartons, in 10lb. volume fill cartons, or 10 x 1 lb. bags.
Choose limes that are firm and green, with no decay. They should be handled at 55º F. Once purchased, consumers can refrigerate them and they will last about 6 weeks. They can be used as garnish, in soups, deserts, with meat dishes, seafood dishes, or in beverages. They can be used as a substitute for lemons but since they are more acidic, use 2/3 cup or ¾ cup lime juice to one cup lemon juice. To yield as much juice as possible from the lime, leave at room temperature for an hour before using. Using a little pressure, roll the lime on the counter to break up some of the cells inside the fruit. This will give you the most juice.
South Florida Tropicals: Lime
University IFAS Extension
Fruits of Warm Climates, Tahiti Limes, Julia Morton p. 172 – 175