Tag Archives: fruits

Lime Tips

Now that we’ve gotten the basics of citrua out of the way, I’d like to get into the specifics of a few cultivars of the citrus family. Specifically, limes. While there are many varieties of limes, there are two in which most Americans are most familiar – the Key Lime and the Persian Lime.

Key Limes are the little 2 inch limes colored a yellow/green. Persion limes, probably a hybrid between key limes and the citrion, are the color of, well, limes. There are other cultivars out there, but I’m going to focus mostly on these two.

  • Persian Limes are available year round.
  • Key Limes peak season runs from June through August.
  • Persian Limes should be brightly colored and heavy in weight for their weight. They should feel hard when squeezed.
  • Key Limes should be a light greenish-yellow skin and a fine grained skin.
  • Small brown areas, won’t affect flavor.
  • Avoid limes with hard, shriveled skins.
  • Persian limes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
  • Key limes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • 6 to 8 limes = 1 lb.
  • 1 medium = 1 1/2 Tablespoons juice.
  • Limes go with bananas, basil, cashews, chicken, chiles, cilantro, coconut, fish, jimaca, lychee, mint, passion fruit, pineapple, pork, seafood, tequlia, or tomato.
  • Wash limes thoroughly if you plan to use the skin.
tags technorati : Food Tips Limes Citrus


Citrus

Citrus fruits have been domesticated by humans since at least 4000 BC.

As opening lines go, the above isn’t really a catchy one, but it is the truth. As I’ve company visiting me this week, catchy will have to take a back seat for a while.

“Citrus” is a common term, covering a vast array for plants in the family Rutaceae. The weird thing is, the citrus you and I know today, probably didn’t exist back in the day. For example – The Navel orange was a bud sport from an orange in Bahia, Brazil, which was introduced into southern California in 1871. In 1913, the pink grapefruit cultivar was discovered. The Blood Orange has come onto the scene only within the past 100 years. The citrus fruits that most of us take for granted are simply decendants of a very few select fruits.

The best information we have indicates that the following were most likely the first citrus fruits that humans had domesticated:

  • Citrus maxima, aka the pummelo (Malaysia)
  • Citrus medica, aka the citron (India)
  • Citrus reticulata, aka the mandarin (China)

I’ll over more of these details soon enough. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering and researching the citrus fruits. Recipes and tips and hints and other such stuff will be (ahem) on the menu.

Technorati Tags: Food, Citrus


Raisins, Currants and Sultanas

If one is to talk about grapes, then the conversation should at least cover those of the dried varieties.

Dried grapes have most likely been around for thousands of years, as finding a one on the vine was quite likely. They were also quite popular in ancient Greece and Rome and even in Southern Spain. It was the crusades that brought the dried treats to Northern Europe where they became the staple that we associate them with today.

It was the Spaniards who brought the processing of drying grapes to what it now present day California, through their vinyards that came with the missions that dotted the area in the 18th century. As histories go, it’s not all that exciting, and it certainly doesn’t compare with, say, the history of Salt or wine. But a story is a story, right?

We Americans tend to think of raisins as any dried grape, which ia kinda-sorta correct. There are dried grapes which stand outside of the “raisin” nomenclature, specifically currants and sultanas. But even these names can be misleading in their own peculiar ways.

Raisins: The raisins you and I know and love typically come from the Thompson Seedless variety, which dry and darken in the sunlight.

Currants: Currants are teeny tiny grapes that come from the Zante grape. They originally come from Greece but are now being grown in many places worldwide.

Sultanas: These are the ones that cause people confusion because initially these white raisins came from the Sultana grape found in Turkey. However, nowadays most Sultanas bought and sold are simply the same Thompson seedless grapes found in our everyday variety raisin, with the exception that they are instead treated with sulphur dioxide and heated artificially, to give it that plumper texture and golden appearance. Whether or not you feel this is a big deal or not depends on your passion for sultanas.

Technorati Tags: food, grapes, raisins