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What Is a Sweet Lime?

In Season: Sweet Limes

Although the assortment of produce seems to be more varied when the weather is warmer, I encountered an unusual fruit on a recent trip to the farmers market: the sweet lime. Also referred to as a Palestine sweet lime, the citrus fruit is native to India, where it's used medicinally to allay upset stomachs, nausea, and throat infections. It's still somewhat obscure in America, but the hardy lime, which blooms in Winter and Spring, has long been commercially grown in Vietnam, Egypt, along the Mediterranean coastline, and in states such as California and Florida. To learn how sweet limes get their yellow color,


Generally, limes are picked while they're still green, but they actually turn yellowish in color when completely mature. Likewise, green sweet limes, while unoffensive, have yet to reach their full sweetness. Rather than having a high amount of sugar, the fruit contains less acid than ordinary limes, causing it to taste sweeter. Although the fruit's pale yellow flesh is praised for its mildness and palatability, some have described the fruit's taste as insipid due to its complete lack of tartness.

A few ways to use sweet limes:

  • Make sweet limeade, or add some to your ice water for a refreshing aroma.
  • Use the fruit's juice to make sweet lime-flavored granita.
  • Incorporate the fragrant peel into in a homemade marmalade.
  • Toss into a Winter fruit salad for an unusual bite.
  • Tone down your cocktails by using in place of sour limes.

If you've ever encountered sweet limes, how do you enjoy them?

Linda15174835 Linda15174835 3 years
I just bought some "Melissa's" sweet limes from Kroger's. I've been using both lemon and limes in my water. I am drinking some with sweet lime now. I like the flavor. Interesting. Sweet and aromatic. Not tart/sour at all. I'll like these better than Meyer Lemons.
Vivian14730562 Vivian14730562 4 years
I am looking for a sweet lime tree, to purchase; in the area of Orlando! They coll them "Palestine Sweet Lime" tree/ Limon Dulce.
sgeear sgeear 6 years
I ate these in India and they are wonderful, sweet like an orange but with the flavor of a lime.
Seaview760 Seaview760 8 years
Sweet Limes are normally used for juice. The juice is mild with a somewhat sweet flavor. It is truly a one of a kind taste. Nothing like a lime. Most citrus contains acid, but not the sweet limes. I found an video clip on You Tube regarding Sweet limes at:
gaucholoco gaucholoco 8 years
inoffensive? These sound really good, never had one though. I agree with the comment above about trying them in cocktails!
emalove emalove 8 years
Ilanac13, I hear you!! I didn't have REAL key limes until I first went to Key West years ago, and nothing else compares! I love lime flavored anything.
stoopeed stoopeed 8 years
One more way of having them: juice them. Better yet, make a juice-tail by mixing equal amounts of orange and sweet lime juice. Very popular drink in India. Yummmm... wish I could find these around where I live.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
They do sound yummy! I wonder if I'll be able to find them around here. We generally don't have quite the same fruit selections that California/Florida/etc. have.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
nancita nancita 8 years
I have never heard of these, but they sound delicious. I'd love to try making cocktails with them.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I've never had one but I want to try! :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i love lime, so i may have to search this one out. living in south florida, i was finally introduced to the REAL KEY LIME - and it was great.
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