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Also indexed as: Bearss Limes, Key Limes, Persian Limes


Preparation, uses, and tips

Limes can be used in almost every dish where lemons are called for, including soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, cakes and other desserts, sorbet, and as an addition to drinks, such as margaritas. Seviche, the raw seafood dish from Peru, uses lime juice as a marinade. Limes are a popular ingredient in the cuisines of Latin America, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as India, Africa, and the West Indies. Try using the discarded rind of juiced limes to clean copper-bottomed pots and pans.

Buying and storing tips

Limes should be rather firm, with uniformly colored skin. As they ripen their green color pales and becomes yellow. Avoid fruit that is hard or that shows brown or white spots, characteristics indicating age and mold. While genuinely glossy skin is better, this can be hard to determine, as the fruit is often waxed for appearance. More perishable than lemons, limes will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and will keep at room temperature for up to one week.


Although limes can be either sweet or sour, the sour varieties are the ones generally available in North America. Among the varieties commonly found at the market are the California seedless, called Bearss; the acidic Persian variety, grown in Florida; and the small round Key lime, an acidic variety that grows in Mexico and Florida.

Nutrition Highlights

Lime, 1 fruit (2-inch [5cm] diameter)
Calories: 20
Protein: 0.45g
Carbohydrate: 7.0g
Total Fat: 0.13g
Fiber: 1.88g
*Excellent source of: Vitamin C (19.5mg)

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.

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