Lemon and Lime Food Facts

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Luscious Lemons

Lemons If sprinkled with water and refrigerated in plastic bags, lemons (as well as limes) will last a month or more frozen. Both their juices and grated peels last about four months. Look for lemons with the smoothest skin and the smallest points of each end. They have more juice and better flavor.

Also, submerging a lemon in hot water for fifteen minutes before squeezing it will yield almost twice the amount of juice. Or, try warming lemons in your oven for a few minutes before squeezing them. If you need only a few drops of juice, prick one end with a fork and squeeze the desired amount. Refrigerate the remaining lemon and it will be as good as new.

Lemons will keep longer in the refrigerator if you place them in a clean jar, cover them with cold water and seal the jar well.

After using one half of a lemon, store the other half in the freezer in a plastic baggie.

When lemon is used for a flavoring it tends to mask the craving for salt.

Limes

Zesty Limes

This small, lemon-shaped citrus fruit has a thin green skin and a juicy, pale green pulp. Limes grow in tropical and subtropical climes such as Mexico, California, Florida and the Caribbean. Because they're an excellent source of vitamin C, limes were fed to British sailors as a scurvy preventative (the fact that was the springboard for the pejorative nickname "limey").

The two main varieties are the Persian lime (the most widely available in the United States) and the Key lime from Florida. The latter is smaller, rounder and has a color more yellow than green. Outside of Florida, the Key lime is usually found only in specialty produce markets and some supermarkets that carry gourmet produce. Though Persian limes are available year-round, their peak season is from May through August.

Lemon and Lime flavored beverage Sweetened or unsweetened bottled lime juice, as well as frozen lime juice and limeade are some of the more popular lime products and are available in most supermarkets.

The versatile lime has a multitude of uses, from a sprightly addition to mixed drinks (like margaritas), to a marinade for raw fish dishes (such as seviche), to the famous key lime pie.

Limes originated on the island of Tahiti. The Key Lime is a smaller variety with a higher acid content. The California variety is called Bears and is a seedless variety.

Lemons and Limes Together

Lemon-lime is a common carbonated soft drink flavor, consisting of lemon and lime flavoring. Sprite and 7 Up are the most popular examples.

Lemon-lime soft drinks are typically clear and sometimes can be mistaken for carbonated water, but are usually sold in transparent green bottles to make the distinction clearer. Over time, the popularity of lemon-lime soft drinks has grown.

The lemon-lime flavor is also used in many other food products, such as ice pops, lollipops, and jelly beans.

Lemon and lime peelings may cause skin irritation on susceptible persons. They contain the oil limonene.

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