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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Key Limes
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Key Limes
Rum Balls
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 877
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2004-10-20 10:00 pm   Permalink

Several threads have talked about key limes and where to find them. Here in the Northwest, Fred Meyer stores carry both fresh keys and bottled key lime juice. A 1 lb. bag of keys (from Mexico) is under $2. (I squeezed about 5 ounces of juice out of that.) The limes are not quite as big as ping pong balls, so it takes a little while to juice 'em! (Are all key limes that small?)

A 16 oz. bottle of "Nellie & Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice" is under $3. (A little sodium benzoate for preservative, otherwise all juice.)

I found keys to be more "tangy" than regular limes. I made a couple of daquiris to compare (2 oz white rum/1 oz lime/1-2 oz sugar syrup). I preferred the tangier key lime version, but I won't go out of my way to use keys unless a recipe calls for it.

Fred Meyer's owned by Kroger, so it's possible you can get keys at your local Kroger-owned store.



 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-10-20 10:28 pm   Permalink

Good work...well done, top marks to you.

Limes are funny things, and like most citrus, especially seedless ones, they have been cross grafted for so many generations the fruit of any citrus (except lemon) is seldom what would sprout from a seed from that fruit.

Of seedless limes for example the seed from 10,000 limes sprouted (seedless by USDA Definition is having less than 7 seeds) would yield less than a dozen lime bearing plants...they would moslty be lemon, oranges, and other various citrus plants...

Oranges as we know them have only existed a short time. Until very recently they were so sour they were almost inedible and more like limes than what we are use to now. They were collected for smell, and to use in cleaning.

There is a area in China where there is a mutated orange variety which tastes like Cream. It's one of the rarest and most expencive fruit on earth. Converlsy if cattle get into an orange field, they will gorge, and thier milk will need to be thrown away because it tastes like orange.





 
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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2004-10-21 07:06 am   Permalink

Interesting Gigantalope. I was actually wondering the other evening, as I was trying to choke my way through a Dr Funk (recipe from Intoxica!), if the limes that we buy today are relatively the same as they were 50-60 years ago when all of these classic tiki drinks were developed.

I find many of the lime juice based drinks in Intoxica! and the Grog Log to be fairly undrinkable. The Dr Funk tastes like lime juice with a splash of Pernod. I couldn't even taste the rum! Others have mentioned that they cut the amount of lime juice called for in half and it tastes much better.

So...I was wondering if perhaps the limes of today are much stronger than those Vic and Don and the boys used?


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-10-21 07:44 am   Permalink

well for sure if you're using key lime juice, cut it in at least half. that's some strong stuff my friends...
_________________


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-10-21 08:43 am   Permalink

THe limes are not the same...although they can be different than each other...and will often be sweeter on the sother part of a tree.

Here's the part I find a crushing blow...for 5000 years we've gone from gatherers to having supermarkerts (where we are sort of gatherers again) but in that time we now only have about 5% of the fruits that once existed available...the rest only exist in seed banks, mostly in the Russia and a smaller one in Colorado.

The variances are almost exclusivly varieties of apples or pears which became unpopular for one reason or another...but the big fear is that as we get further and furth tied to these hybreds a pest or scourge could be a massive global problem... like the potato famine...over the entire planet.

The fruit market is driven by money, and the ones that sell are the ones that look like postcard fruit. Even worse is that SEEDLESS fruit sells far more than varieties with superior taste.

Growers gotta grow what Moms will buy...it's wierd to see phtos of acres of sawed down trees going in for new grafts on the root stock or just new fruit...Here in Ca, they mostly plant houses where Groves were...sometimes grapes in recent years...

I typically buy the fruit that looks like it's been in a fenderbender, and has seeds. Try it, and see.


 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5808
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-10-21 11:30 am   Permalink

Is it just me, or do you guys think limes are getting expensive? 2 (one place 1) for a dollar in Carmel, CA. Though this will never stop me from my Grog Quests.

 
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3025
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2004-10-21 12:09 pm   Permalink

!!!
Unga Bunga that is expensive! Yikes. The last time I bought limes (which was yesterday) they were five for a dollar. That was here in Redondo Beach at a Wholefoods supermarket. These aren't Key Limes, just the "regular" kind.

Sabu says he gets an even better deal. He buys 'em by the pound from a small local market. I don't recall the price he quoted.

Maybe Sabu can chime in.


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2953
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-10-21 12:15 pm   Permalink



 
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Rum Balls
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 877
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2004-10-21 3:12 pm   Permalink

Johnny, is this how you roll the limes before juicing 'em?


 
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ZebraTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 530
From: Enchanted Bay Area, CA
Posted: 2004-10-21 6:28 pm   Permalink

Where are all our Florida members on this one?
I've heard from many Floridians that "real" Key limes are only one certain species grown on any of the Florida Key islands. They are supposed to be very small, and unless expertly picked at the perfect time, they are exceptionally sour. Their coloring can be deceptive, as they are ideal when not totally green yet.
The best thing that you can smuggle back into California in your car is a small Key Lime tree, started by someone with a thriving garden. My relatives in Burbank have one that is magnificent (the previously mentioned contraband that crossed state lines in a dog carrier). There is some sort of lime e.s.p. you need to select the right ones, but imagine all the fun you'll have tasting your experiments!


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-10-21 6:44 pm   Permalink

You can't tell any citrus fruit being ripe by it's color...some oranges even turn orange before they are ripe and turn yellowy green when they are perfect.

Also, as they have no starch in them, they won't ripen after they are picked...they may change color but the taste won't change for the better...unlike Aligator Pears who if you sick in a paper sack get nice.

Funny how oranges as fruit are called the same as the color in most languges, but Limes are not "greens", and lemons are not "yellos"

In fact...it's a funny thing that Citrus itself was named because of an accident. (Kinda like America being named after a map maker who claimed to discover it but was never here)



 
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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2004-10-21 7:20 pm   Permalink

I've been doing some googling on the subject of limes. This is probably info that isn't new to Gigantalope but it was new to me.

Apparently, limes are yellow when they're ripe, and a little sweeter than when they're green. This holds true for both Persian (Tahitian) limes and Key limes. The tradition of picking them green (and under ripe) is because a green lime has a longer shelf life before going rotten versus a ripe lime. I also read that the US and Europe prefer the green limes but other parts of the world prefer the ripe yellow lime. I'd love to try some ripe limes but that might be difficult as lime growers pick them green and as Giga pointed out, they don't continue to ripen after being picked. Since I live in Florida maybe I can find someone with a lime tree in their backyard.

Gigantalope: regarding your comments on all of the past plethora of citrus species being genetically manipulated into a few marketable strains...what about all of these citrus trees that are growing in people's back yards? I know many people who have citrus trees (usually grapefruit and orange) that have wide variations from tree to tree. This grapefruit tree is lighter and tarter, this one is pinker and sweeter, this orange tree has fruit with navels, this one not, this one has tangelo etc. Maybe the evolution of citrus is still taking place in the back yards of Florida and California and points south??


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-10-21 9:40 pm   Permalink

I can't be sure about all citrus...lemon and lime might have exsisted somplace, but Grapefruit did not. Oranges most likely came from China or a landmass sout of there now underwater. This is assuemd by the amount of natural hybreds and specialized pests specific to Citrus.(The exception to this is the Osage Orange, Lewis and Clarks first discoverd new plant, naitive to Kansas...not a tru orange)

The only singe crop which had a bigger impact on modern society than the orange was the Rubber Plant.

The history of both is pretty fascinating, especially with the combination of the industrial revolution...The Dehydrating Juce Freezer made no crop that could be picked go bad...

It's thought that the "Golden Apple" which was shot off the head of a boy in Switzerland was an Orange, later leading to the tale of William Tell.

I'm rambling like a jackass...sorry.
I'ts all about Marmalade tho...that's my view.


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-10-21 10:15 pm   Permalink

Citrus got it's name (genus name) from a confusion between the large, rough skinned Citron, which was the original lemon, and the greenish yellow cones of the Cedars of Lebanon, which actually look very similar.

Also the Citron trees, and the Cedar trees were both evergreen, about the same size and similar enough in appearance and foilage that further confusion was inevitable. The Greeks called the Citron "Kedromelon" or Cedar Apple, the Romans turned this into Malum Citrump, and applied this term, often shortening it's meaning citreum, to all varieties of citrus.

In the second century, the writer Apuleius, objected. He had been born in Africa, and knew a cedar cone from an lemon or orange, but in the eighteenth century the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, made the name "Citrus" official for the genus. So now Lemons, Limes, Citrons, Oranges, Grapefruit, and Tangerines are all grouped under the incorrect name that means Cedar.


 
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Gigantalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-10-22 08:25 am   Permalink

Kono, in reading your question, which I failed to answer, yes there are hundreds of varieties of fruit which seem the same.

Grapfruit for example...the example you gave, they have subtly different properties. Lemons sre more pronounced as the two most common varieties (here in Ca.) are Eureka (typical common lemon) and Meyers. The meyers is kinda funny looking, thick skinned, and can be sweet to the point of not seeming like a lemon.

Meyers seem like they were invented to be placed next to a Vodka tree...

Oranges varieties are more different than each other...The Navel Orange was a natural hybred found in Brazil by some American Missionaries. It's also called the Washington Orange because for a while you had to write to Washington DC to get them.

The thing that makes Oranges even more curious is that thier fruit comes ripe at much different times of year depending on the variety.

A large old lemon tree however can have fruit on it all year...nice for the drinker, bad for the farmer.

Sorry...shit, I've done it again.





 
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