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- In Iran it is called Limu Shirin (لیمو شیرین, meaning "Sweet lemon" in Persian).
- In North India, it is commonly called mousambi, mosambi, or musambi (मुसंबी) (in Hindi/Urdu & Marathi).
- In South India, it is called Moosambi (in Kannada, Malayalam), Bathaya Kaayalu (బత్తాకాయలు) (in Telugu)
- It is called sathukudi (in Tamil), from the village "Sattukkudi" (சாத்துக்குடி), where the fruit was cultivated first in Tamil Nadu.
- It is also referred to as orange in some parts of the world.
C. limetta is a small tree up to 8 m (26 ft) in height, with irregular branches and relatively smooth, brownish-grey bark. It has numerous thorns, 1.5–7.5 cm (0.59–2.95 in) long. The petioles are narrowly but distinctly winged, and are 8–29 mm (0.31–1.14 in) long. Leaves are compound, with acuminate leaflets 5–17 cm (2.0–6.7 in) long and 2.8–8 cm (1.1–3.1 in) wide. Flowers are white, 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) wide. Fruits are oval and green, ripening to yellow, with greenish pulp. The pith is white and about 5 mm (0.20 in) thick. Despite the name sweet lime, the fruit is more similar to a greenish orange in appearance.
As the name sweet lime suggests, the flavor is sweet and mild, but retains the essence of lime. The flavor is a bit flatter than most citrus due to its lack of acidity. It can be compared to limeade and pomelo.
Sweet lime is almost exclusively served as juice, and is the most common available citrus juice in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The juice is commonly sold at mobile road stalls, where it is freshly pressed, sometimes served with a salty chat masala or Kala Namak, unless the vendor is told not to add it.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||180 kJ (43 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||0.5 g|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
Checking for ripeness
Like most citrus, sweet limes will not ripen off the tree, and must be picked when fully ripe. This is indicated by its tennis ball size and lustrous greenish yellow sheen. Gently scratch the surface of a sweet lime: If its oils give way in the fingernails, it’s ripe. The juiciest fruits feel heavy for their size.
Underripe fruit feels light for its size, and is hard with tart flesh. Overripe fruit is dull and shrunken, with dry, spongy skin. Avoid fruit with brownish-yellow discoloration.
Sweet limes keep fresh for up to two weeks at room temperature, and four to eight weeks refrigerated. Frozen juice will keep for up to six months. It’s possible to freeze slices of the fruit, though the limonin content may cause the pulp to taste bitter over time. This can be avoided by submerging the slices in sweet syrup within an airtight glass jar.