Limes in-store are always green, but the limes on my tree are turning yellow! No this doesn’t mean you’ve missed the prime time for enjoying your limes.
Limes aren’t unripe lemons – they are two different fruits entirely. They can be substituted for each other in cooking due to their similar taste profiles. Lemons are slightly sweeter whereas limes can be bitter and more acidic. You’ll find lemons have larger seeds and limes are often smaller in size.
The best Australian limes are harvested for peak flavour from January to April but can be found all year round. Today, Western Australia produces about 19,000 tonnes of citrus grown across the Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid-West, Northern Perth, Perth Hills, and Southwest Regions. These growers can be easily identified by looking out for WA Brands on the citrus stickers.
Did you know limes are fully ripe when they turn yellow? So why do we buy and consume them when they’re green?
Limes are picked when they are green for a few reasons. When they are green, they still have time to ripen, they are more resistant to bumps and bruises when transported for sale. Consumers were already aware of lemons, being yellow, it was helpful to differentiate limes being green to help avoid mistaking a sweet lemon for a tart lime.
Limes are most often used when green, but what changes their colour? As we know with fruits like bananas, as they change from green to yellow, they get sweeter. This is not the case with limes. Rather than gaining sweetness, as they ripen to yellow skins, they soften in the fragrant acidic flavour.
If you’ve got a lime tree and have been cooking non-stop with your limes, given a whole heap out to your friends and still have limes dropping from your tree, why not try freezing the juice into ice blocks to use in your next margarita!
Winter is the peak citrus season. Throughout these colder months enjoy lime, lemon, mandarin, orange, passionfruit, grapefruit, and pineapple. Look for fruit that is heavy for its size to ensure it is full of juicy goodness and choose locally grown if buying in store.
Vegetables to include on your plate this season is broccoli, kale, mushrooms, turnip, and potato.
Find the full list of seasonal produce shared at Buy West Eat Best.