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The Yuzu lime, when mature has the appearance of a stout and puffy spherical lemon. They are similar to the size of a small mandarin, around 7 to 12 centimeters. Its peel is thick, semi rough and fragrant. Its flesh contains numerous seeds and membrane that is consistent with the inner texture of its peel. The juice from Yuzu limes is highly acidic and tart. Its sweetness is found in the oils contained in its rind, which is released when scratched or cut.
Peak season for Yuzu limes is winter into early spring.
The Yuzu lime is a hybrid between the Satsuma mandarin and the Ichang papeda, a slow growing wild citrus which has never been individually cultivated though it is a parent to many hybrids. The name lime is misleading as the Yuzu has no lime parentage. More interesting though is that the Yuzu does not bear the same taxonomical characteristics as its parent species. There are several known hybrids of the Yuzu fruit, many of which originated from seedlings that germinated within fruit waste.
Yuzu limes contain high amounts of potassium, and is a good source of vitamin C.
Yuzu limes are most commonly used for cooking. They can be both zested and juiced to create sauces, liquors, vinegars and jams. Yuzu lime juice is used to make cocktails, sorbets, custards and other desserts. The juice is also used in marinades for meat and poultry. Keep Yuzu limes at room temperature for up to two weeks, refrigerate for extended storage.
Yuzu lime is thought of primarily as a Japanese fruit since the fresh zing in Japanese ponzu sauce comes from the juice of the Yuzu. Yuzu trees take 15 to 20 years to bear fruit, and the juice and zest of the fruit have many uses. In Japan, the fruit is also used in baths during the winter solstice - a practice that dates back to the 18th century and which is said to help ward off colds and help keep skin soft. Yuzu seed extracts have been found to have skin-whitening effects, and have been used in cosmetics.
The Yuzu lime has two scientific points of origin. It is thought to have originated in Korea and from there was introduced into China. Most scientists maintain that its origins are within the upper regions of the Yangtze River in China, the area that the fruit tree was discovered by Frank Meyer, the same discoverer of the Meyer Lemon. He brought seeds from the yuzu fruit back to America in 1914. Included in his description of the fruit, he noted that he sourced the seeds from the Hubei Provence along the upper slopes of the Yangtze River at an astonishing elevation of 4,000 feet. The temperatures dip below freezing in that area and there are no other citrus varieties that grow near that region. The Yuzu tree is the most popular citrus fruit tree in the Far East, specifically Japan. It is often used as rootstock for satsumas and other cultivated citrus varieties.
Recipes that include Yuzu Limes. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have spotted Yuzu Limes using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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