Limau Kasturi Limes
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Limau Kasturi limes are extremely petite, averaging 25-35 millimeters in diameter, and are semi-rounded to ovate in shape. Upon harvest, they have a kelly green thin and porous peel, which releases floral aromatics and offers a surprisingly sweet taste. Their thinly segmented flesh is a lime green, fragrant, juicy and tart but less stringent than regular limes. When fully mature limes become yellow, similar to the color of lemons. The entire fruit is used for culinary applications, akin to its parent, the kumquat.
Limau Kasturi limes are available year-round in tropical Asian climates. In North America they are available winter through spring.
The Limau Katsuri lime, as it is known in Malaysia, is a hybrid citrus tree known for its tart juicy fruits. It is a cross between a sour, loose skinned mandarin and a kumquat, therefor technically making it an orangequat. Its botanical name is somewhat confusing as three classifications are accepted: Citrus madurensis, C. mitis and C. microcarpa. Common names are no less confusing, as it has a slew of aliases in languages world-wide: Calamondin (English), Jeruk Kesturi (Indonesia) and Kalamondin, Kalamunding, Kalamansi, Calamansi, Limonsito, or Agridulce (Philippines). These Limau Kasturi limes were found and photographed at a market in the Takashimaya building in Singapore. The trees producing these limes are believed to be growing in Malaysia.
The Limau Katsuri has an extremely high level of vitamin C, providing the daily recommended amount in just a few limes. As compared orange juice, it has higher amounts of essential nutrients, such as calcium (28.07mg per 100g), magnesium (15mg per 100g), iron (2.23mg per 100g), zinc (1.1mg per 100g), sodium (1.5ml per 100g), and also contains lower levels of sugar.
The juice of the Limau Katsuri is usually used to flavor foods in south-east Asian cuisine, as lemons or limes are used in the rest of the world. The pure juice is often pasteurized and bottles as a beverage or concentrate. The whole fruits may be preserved in jellies, jams or marmalades and used in sauces and custards as an exotic lemon curd alternative.
The Limau Katsuri lime is native to China and was first introduced to the United States in 1900 as an “acid orange”, alluding to its sweet rind and overly tart juice. Today it thrives all throughout eastern Asia in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. It is strongly cold-tolerant and often grown in gardens outside of its native tropical climate, including India, Hawaii, the West Indies, and Central and North America.