Origin Story of Finger Limes
Found in the rainforests of Southeast Queensland, this peculiar fruit was first discovered when settlers during the European colonization took charge of Australia and deforested the wilderness. The settlers set their eyes on this fruity and found it to be strangely interesting.
They tried their luck by having it and were strangely surprised. It looked like a finger, tasted like a lime and when opened, looked like caviar. Because of its peculiarity, the botanists at that time decided that this fruit is rare and should be cultivated.
Before it was mass cultivated, Finger limes were used by indigenous people in a variety of different dishes. These fruits were used in the making of food as well as a garnish. Its juice vessels have garnered a lot of popularity for adding zing to dishes as a garnish.
It was only in the 1990s that the Finger Limes were mass cultivated and consumed for commercial purposes. The main uses included marmalades for the masses while the indigenous people still consumed it as a bush tucker and a way to strengthen the body against illnesses.
Since it is a native fruit to the people of Australia, it was named as Citrus Australasica. The name itself is pretty explanatory and summarizes the meaning of the fruit effectively. It is a citrusy fruit that grows in Australia. This fruit gained a lot of popularity and the demand in International markets rose. It was in the early 2000s when Australia started exporting Finger Limes all over the world.
The Citrus Australasica is a fruit from a short thorny understory shrub. The kingdom that it belongs to is Plantae with the Genus Citrus. Some people argue that Finger limes are not a part of the Citrus Genus but a relative of that called Microcitrus.
The plant itself stays at the height of 20 feet while the fruit is usually 12 cm long. The inside of the fruit is very pulpy and has a unique texture. It reminds people of caviar.
Types of Finger Limes
Finger Limes come in a variety of different options, here are the five finger lime varieties you will find in Australia:
This type of Finger lime is on the lighter side of brown from the exterior but has a bright pink interior.
This type of Finger lime is with a green skin with coincidently light green vesicles. It is arguably the most flavorful among all.
This type of finger lime is on the darker spectrum of brown but surprisingly has red vesicles. It is sweeter than most types of Finger Lime
This type of Finger Lime has a light green skin and the vesicles are yellow in color. They are known to have a bitter flavor.
The color of this fruit is red through and through and the flavor is sweet rather than tangy.
How Do Finger Limes Taste?
Finger limes belong to the citrus family and thus have a very citrusy taste. However, the different types of finger lime have a different taste as discussed above. However, on the whole you can call the taste to be a little sour, citrusy and bitter.
They have a very strong aftertaste, many people have even compared its taste to that of crushed lemon leaves. Finger limes have juicy and firm vesicles that make the taste even more enhanced.
Several things enhance the taste of Finger limes. They go best with fish as their citrusy flavor compliments the fish. However, if you want to give a try to pair it up with desserts, you can go ahead as they pair up nicely and give you a more balanced taste.
The best desserts to try are tarts, meringues or if you are feeling adventurous, you can include them in different drinks to give it a kick of flavor.
7 Health Benefits Of Finger Limes
Finger limes are not only popular because of their flavor but they also have amazing health benefits. Here are seven of the exclusive health benefits of Finger Limes:
Promotes Mouth Health
Vitamin C deficiency can be quite troublesome for mouth health. It can lead to problems such as Scurvy. if you want to prevent your gums from swelling and bleeding, you must give finger limes a try as they will help you cover up the vitamin C deficiency.
Improved Eye Health
To keep up with your eye health you need to have lots of vitamin A in your system and Finger limes are a great source of vitamin A. There are free radicals in our eye that can cause severe problems and to fight them you need an antioxidants. Vitamin A in Finger limes can help you with that.
Fulfills Iron Deficiency
Finger lime is a powerhouse and has great reserves of iron. This iron can help you full fill the deficiency and help people fight anemia. Consume it on a daily basis to fight off iron deficiency.
Helps Ease Signs Of Aging
As we grow older, several diseases affect us and because of that we weaken our health. Finger limes are packed with nutrients that will help you ward off any diseases and you will ease into old age easily.
Brings Down High Blood Pressure
Containing potassium this fruit is a Godsend for people with high blood pressure. This fruit helps widen the blood vessels and makes sure that they are big enough for smooth blood flow. If you want to maintain heart health, it is important that you give finger limes a try.
To fight against infections, it is important that you have a strong immunity. That immunity is easily achievable if you consume finger limes. The vitamin C in Finger limes helps you boost your immunity and stay unaffected during flu seasons.
Delays Skin Aging
We all want to be young forever or at least look young. Finger limes can help you with that. The vitamin C in this fruit gives way to collagen production and that helps with keeping your skin as healthy as possible. It can assist you in bidding farewell to wrinkles.
How to Grow Finger Limes on Your Own
Is all this talk of Finger limes tingling your green thumbs? Do you want to learn how you can grow it all on your own? Well, we have got you covered. It is not very difficult for you to grow Finger limes, since they can sprout on a variety of different soils.
In addition to that, you do not need to bother with a specific kind of climate as Finger limes work well with tropical as well as subtropical climates. If you are attempting to grow the finger limes in a temperate environment, you would need to get loamy soil so that the plant can be irrigated properly. the best condition of the soil would be acidic, but not too much. In addition to that, you must also make sure that the soil has plenty of organic matter.
Finger limes are not affected by the forest but if you are to grow them in the cooler regions, make sure that you keep the tree in a shaded area. This will help your plant grow better. To grow them you do not need to set up a complete environment, they can easily grow in the garden.
It is unfortunate that the Finger limes do not have high chances of germination from the parent and a seed is needed. If you want you can even try your luck with growing it in semi hardwood cuttings. The only catch is that the process will be slow. If this methods works for you, you can use a growth hormone and yield better results.
Factors To Keep In Mind When Buying Finger Limes
When you intend to buy Finger limes, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind before you pick out the fruit. Make sure that the fruit you pick out is brightly colored and has no blemishes. The blemishes do not affect the taste of the fruit but it might not be as fresh as you would like.
If the skin is not plump, your fruit might not be as juicy as you would want it to be. Look for insects on the fruit, it may be possible that the fruit you have is infested with insects. Once you buy the fruit ensure that you store it properly. The best way to store it is by wrapping it in plastic and then keeping the whole bunch in the fridge. That will prolong the shelf life of the fruit and you will be able to consume it as per your convenience.
Finger limes may seem like a bizarre fruit to you as you might have never heard of one, but they are nature’s bounty in its rarest form. If you can get your hands on it, enjoy and treasure its taste.