In the 19th and early 20th centuries, pickled limes were exported from the West Indies to areas in the Northeastern United States. In the mid-19th century, pickled limes were in demand in New York, and by the late 19th century they were mostly exported to Boston. During this time period, stores would display them in glass jars atop counters and sell them by the piece. Some customers purchased entire barrels of them at a time.
Lime is an essential ingredient of many cuisines from India, and many varieties of pickles are made, e.g. sweetened lime pickle, salted pickle, and lime chutney. Preparation depends on region, but the principle remains largely the same: limes are diced, mixed with varying spices such as mustard seed, chili, and turmeric, then tossed with salt and left, covered, in the sun for several weeks.
In the United Kingdom, Indian restaurants often serve papadums with lime pickle as a starter.