October 2011: Finger limes were featured in Food Network magazine! Many people are writing to me to ask where to get them. You can buy them from Shanley Farms. Click here to order.
Do you remember the first time you saw a fuzzy brown egg-shaped fruit and wondered if you could eat the skin? Cutting it open to see the glistening green flesh with small black seeds? That first taste of a kiwi fruit, whether under-ripe and sour, or just perfect with a hint of strawberry?
When a citrus grower recently brought a few California-grown Australian Finger Limes – undersized like tiny fingers – to a party, cut them open, and squeezed out sacs of “lime juice caviar” … well, weeks have passed and we’re still obsessed.
Lime caviar on the rim of a cocktail; eaten straight from the lime; on frozen yogurt…our minds reeled. The juice sacs pop, which makes them the ultimate in nature’s molecular gastronomy much like a pomegranate but without the hard seed thingy.
Yet as I roved around Los Angeles spreading the word to local bartenders, the L.A. Times broke the story.
I took a special trip to the Santa Monica Wednesday farmer’s market where I met the Shanleys, among the first to introduce California grown finger limes, which they planted just a few years ago, to the market now that the trees have matured.
Want Finger Limes?
This variety of lime is still very new, in limited production. I have a few on hand (in Berkeley) for any bars or restaurants who want to experience them firsthand!