What Are Finger Limes?

by valentina on December 29, 2012

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A few months ago I was at Melissa’s Produce and took a quiz of sorts — to identify various exotic fruits and vegetables.

While I do fancy myself someone who knows about most food related things, I had to leave a few blank.  GASP!
I did suspect these adorable fruits were a citrus of some sort, but wasn’t sure enough to write it down.  Once learning they were limes, I wasn’t too surprised.

What did surprise and totally delight me was what was going on inside of these guys’ thin, greenish-pinkish-yellowish skin.  They were filled with hundreds of tiny balls of juice — edible bubbles, if you will.  These “bubbles” literally pop between your teeth. Oh my!

Native to the rainforest regions of Australia, these delicious delicacies are a huge trend in produce at the moment.  They seem to be especially popular among mixologists, as they are a big hit in cocktails. However, they are fabulous when paired with a variety of other foods, too.  My favorite way to enjoy them has been with avocados.  And they are absolutely stunning!  Don’t you think?

Some call these citrus caviar, while others refer to them as citrus pearls or citrus pop rocks.  I call them an incredibly unique and delicious treat!

Finger limes are a micro-citrus (a few inches long at most), and the flavor of these treasures is somewhere between a lime and a grapefruit.

Finger limes are typically in season from September through January.  They can be stored for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator and about a week on the counter.

You will likely find Finger Limes at Whole Foods, and if you’re in Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market should have them too.  Otherwise, you can in get more information here.

Here a few delicious looking recipes I’ve found that use Finger Limes:
Finger Lime Mojito Cheesecake Trifle
Finger Lime and Elderflower Gin Fizz
Finger Lime Seared Scallops and Wakame Salad
Finger Lime Panna Cotta with Finger Lime Syrup

This is not a sponsored post — I am simply enamored with this cool item!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kalyn December 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Very interesting; thanks for sharing!


Deb December 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Oh my! Thank you for the introduction! As a lover of all thing citrus I will be looking for Finger Limes.


valentina January 3, 2013 at 1:12 am

Deb, I hope you get your hands on some of these — they’re a real treat. :-)


Christy @ My Invisible Crown December 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I LOVE finger limes. They’re absolutely the cutest and most fun little fruit I’ve encountered in a long time…maybe ever. Thanks so much for sharing my recipe and site with you readers! Everyone needs a good finger lime recipe in case they ever get the chance to grab a few.


valentina January 3, 2013 at 1:11 am

Christy — your recipe for the trifle looks amazing. I had to share! :-) Happy New Year!


Gerry @ Foodness December 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Very cool! They do remind me of caviar :)


valentina January 3, 2013 at 1:10 am

These are fun, Gerry — I bet you’d find a way to work them into some delicious sweets! xo


Nancy Rose Eisman December 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Your photos are gorgeous, as always! Thanks too for sharing the great links.


valentina January 3, 2013 at 1:07 am

Nancy, thank you so much and a very happy new year to you! xo


Aimee January 3, 2013 at 4:04 am

These look so cool and interesting and I want to try one in a cocktail right now! Any chance you know where they’re on a mixologist menu? Otherwise I’ll be forced to try to make one of my own. :)


Jessi January 7, 2013 at 2:51 am

Very informative post! I learn something new everyday. Love your blog!


valentina January 7, 2013 at 7:19 am

Thanks, Jessi! :-)


Bergiegirl January 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I have planted 100 FL trees in North San Diego County for commercial use. What type of avocado have you paired the finger lime with? Reed?


valentina January 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I think it was a Hass. How luck to have so many FL trees! :-)


dicksey November 19, 2013 at 2:14 am

Where did you buy your trees?


valentina November 19, 2013 at 5:15 am

I don’t have a tree of my own, but it looks like you can buy one HERE. :-)


doug February 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Hello Valentina, Where can I purchase one finger lime plant? Will the plant grow in southern california, Gardena, CA?


valentina February 14, 2013 at 1:42 am

Hi Doug, I’m looking into this . . . I’ll email you or comment back here as soon as I get an answer. :-)


valentina February 15, 2013 at 5:06 am

Doug, I’ll email this as well, but am posting here as I think it’s useful information for any readers interested in finger limes. And thank you for the great question!
Below is the best answer I got, from the Australian Finger Lime Co.
If other citrus can grow in CA, then finger limes will grow. Seeds are no good as it takes 10 years or so to grow a tree to produce fruits and the trees grown could be any type of finger lime; a good chance not a good one. Grafted trees can’t export as there are strict quarantine protocols that need to be in place between countries to allow the movement of plant material. Each plant type may have a different set of rules to allow importing. They need these bio-security measures and rules so one country doesn’t give another country plant viruses or diseases.


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