Finger Limes (Citrus Caviar)
The finger lime is a quintessential example of the types of unique ingredients we offer at to-table. It is not something we would know of or find without the assistance of a inventive chef. This fruit has great lemon-lime taste and a texture and color that add the subtle but critical finish on a great dish. Here is what David Karp reported in The Los Angeles Time on December 23, 2009:
The finger lime is very different from other citrus, somewhat resembling a gherkin, elongated in shape, and up to 3 inches in length. Its skin is thin and can range from purplish or greenish black, the most typical color, to light green or rusty red. When the fruit is cut in half, the juice vesicles, which are under pressure, ooze out as if erupting from a mini-volcano. Unlike the tender, tear-drop-shaped juice sacs in standard citrus, the translucent, greenish-white or pinkish vesicles in finger limes are round and firm, and pop on the tongue like caviar, releasing a flavor that combines lemon and lime with green and herbaceous notes. The rind oil is also quite aromatic, and contains isomenthone, which is common in mint but rare in citrus.
What do you do with these digit-shaped prodigies? Like other acid citrus, they're really too tart to eat fresh, but even so, the first time you encounter one, try cutting it in half and sucking out the caviar, squeezing it out of the rind like toothpaste from the tube, just to experience the fruit to the fullest. Next try some on a slice of Fuyu persimmon, to balance that fruit's unidimensional sweetness with a pleasing smack of sourness. A little goes nicely with fish, but not too much, because the assertive flavor can easily overpower delicate seafood.
Basically, use the Finger Lime on everything you would typically use lemon or lime from beverages, salads, soups, dressings, fish, fowl, deserts and many other items.Report back to us on the blog with your best successes.