They have been hailed as being the most exciting gastronomic discovery in recent history. They are one of six citrus species native to Australia, yet they are totally different then others – Nothing else on earth is like them.
Extremely popular in the world’s top fine dining restaurants. They’ve certainly made a splash in the restaurant world. “For me it’s the perfect fruit,” says Chef Sujan Sarkar, culinary director & chef at “Rooh” a Morden Indian restaurant in San Francisco, California.
“Mother Nature’s done everything for you. When you taste the lime, it’s got this lovely sweet and sour perfume, is very balanced and doesn’t need much else. We use finger limes on oysters, but I also like using them on margaritas so you get that lovely waft of native lime with your first mouthful.“
What is a finger lime?
The Australian finger lime is an elongated fruit roughly the size of a human thumb, on average. Their skin is green, maroon, or any shade in-between. Hundreds of tiny juice-filled capsules are inside, which resemble caviar.Native to the wild rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales, it’s an understory shrub – meaning it grows under the shade of the forest canopy.While it may have been found earlier, the finger lime was not mentioned in published literature until 1989… it’s barely 30 years old!Unlike other citrus fruits which have stringy flesh, the inside of finger limes have juicy encapsulated pearls. When you bite into them, they explode in your mouth with a burst of lemon-lime flavored juice. The green varieties are sour, while the pink taste sweeter.It’s not that the tart flavor is that unique, but rather that it’s completely isolated within the caviar-sized globes.Both professional chefs and foodies alike can get creative with these little beads, by adding another layer of flavor to just about any dish.What to do with finger lime is far more diverse than the uses for lemon and lime juice. Because they’re enclosed balls of juice, their flavor won’t percolate throughout the rest of the food and overpower the other flavors. That means they work for both sweet and savory recipes.
As a dessert topping, you can use Australian finger limes as a lip-puckering flavor burst to complement the sweetness of ice cream, chia pudding, and cheesecake.
You don’t want to cook with these fruits, because heat can cause them to burst. Add them in after cooking. Entrees of pasta, rice, and seafood, as well as hors d’oeuvres, can all be augmented with a sprinkling of finger lime.
How to eat
1. To open, cut the finger lime in half, not lengthwise.
2. Squeeze out the pearls like you squeeze toothpaste out of a tube.
3. Eat them as a topping on another food, or mixed in with it.
Is It Available In India ?
Legally No !
At the moment Australian growers cannot export fresh finger limes to China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam or New Zealand because of concerns the fruit carries the pest.The assumption is because it is a citrus fruit it will attract the fruit fly, but because it is a native plant it has built up a natural defence to the pests over hundreds of thousands of years. But many Chefs and restaurants in India are already serving & using Finger Lime in their cooking methods, yes availability is and issue but in today’s world if their is enough demand such problems usually get sorted. So next time you are dining at a Fine Dine Indian Restaurant keep and eye out for Finger Lime and take a moment and inspire your friends with your expert food knowledge of the worlds latest culinary superfood, cause Avocados are now oldnews.