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Jeruk nipis (large lime)
Jeruk purut (kaffir lime)
Limau nipis (large lime)
Limau purut (kaffir lime)
Limau kesturi (kalamansi lime)
Tagalog (Filipino):
Dayap (kaffir lime)
Kalamansi (kalamansi lime)
Ma-nao (large lime)
Ma-krut (kaffir lime)
Ma-nao-wan (kalamansi lime)

Lime photo.
Kalamansi limes
Lime photo.
Large limes
Lime photo.
Kaffir limes

There are 3 types of limes that are commonly found in Southeast Asia, the large lime, kaffir lime, and kalamansi lime. They are not necessarily all found in all places. In the central Philippines (Visayas) we have found only the kalamansi limes.

The large lime is nearly round, with a thin green skin which turns yellow when ripe. The lime tree looks much like other citrus trees. The large lime is used mainly for its abundant juice, made into drinks (called lemonade in Bali, lemon juice in Thailand) or added to food to provide acidity and flavor. This is our favorite lime. It makes a wonderful, refreshing cold drink and adds a fine flavor to fish dishes (ceviche!!).

The kaffir lime has a rough green skin with dimples that make it look a bit like a golf ball. It has little or no juice and its flesh is too bitter to eat. The grated skin and leaves, however, can be used to flavor cooked dishes. The leaves are widely used for seasoning in Bali and Thailand.

The kalamansi lime is native to the Philippines, and is the only lime we have found there. It is very small, round, thin-skinned, and green in color, changing to yellow as the lime ripens. The seeds are large, and account for half the volume of the fruit. The flesh is very juicy. The juice is quite flavorful (it tastes rather different from other limes) and is only a little acidic. It is the only locally grown citrus available in the Philippines, and is used for everything. We very much enjoy kalamansi juice drinks, and use it to flavor fish, other fruits, and in any dish where you might use lemon.

(In the 18th century, the British Admiralty began providing lemons to its sailors to prevent scurvy. They quickly discovered that limes were cheaper than lemons, and could be grown in the British-controlled West Indies, so they switched to using limes. Limes, however, provide only half as much vitamin C as lemons. So, British sailors became known as limeys, and probably continued to suffer some vitamin C deficiencies, as a result of the switch from lemons. Today, powerful engines and refrigeration on commercial vessels have virtually eliminated the risk of scurvy aboard ships. Sailing yachts are still slow and may not have a large refrigerator, so vitamin supplements are advisable for long passages.)

Market and storage tips — Do not buy limes that feel light, they will be dry and overripe. Good quality limes are full of water, and heavy. Skin blemishes are not significant, but do not buy moldy fruit. Wash in chlorinated water, dry in the sun, and wrap in aluminum foil for long term storage.


Banana  |   Coconut  |   Custard apple  |   Dragon Fruit  |   Duku/Langsat

Durian  |   Jack Fruit  |   Lime  |   Mango  |   Mangosteen

Melon  |   Papaya  |   Pineapple  |   Rambutan  |   Salak

Sapodilla  |   Soursop  |   Star apple  |   Star Fruit  |   Water apple

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Jim and Jamie Richter, http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/
Website designed and created by Lois Richter, expanded by Jim.
Created 6/2003. All photos are © 2003 by Jim Richter.