Finger limes (Citrus australasica) are Australia’s native caviar, they’ve been an essential food source for Indigenous Australians for thousands of years but lately can be seen in some of Australia’s top restaurants.
With the shape of a small finger, finger limes are known for their caviar-esque pearls that (literally) burst with flavour, similar to a round lime. To use them simply cut them in half and gently scoop out the pulp.
The small beads are perfect for sprinkling on top of your meal, adding to a dressing for a bold flavour or stirred into your favourite cocktail for a zesty punch.
Where to buy
They have an extremely short season which is why they are so expensive and almost impossible to find, your best bet is your local farmers market.
To prolong the shelf-life of these delicious Aussie treats you can freeze them for six months.
Nutritionally speaking finger limes are a great source of folate, potassium and Vitamin E and C. They have also been used topically for many generations as an antiseptic for infected sores and boils.
How to grow
Finger limes trees
are from quite rare, growing up to five metres tall in shady areas, most commonly grown in rainforests in Queensland and New South Wales. Although, you will be able to grow finger lime trees
in other parts of Australia.
Plant and look after finger lime trees as you would any other citrus fruits. They are susceptible to pests and scale so keep a close eye on your tree for any sign of disease.
Finger lime varieties
The most common finger lime varieties
in Australia are:
- Pink ice: known for light brown skin and bright pink vesicles.
- Crystal: green skin with light green vesicles, bursting with flavour.
- Crimson tide: dark brown skin with large red vesicles, sweet flavour.
- Chartreuse: light green skin with yellow vesicles, bitter flavour.
- Red champagne: red skin with red vesicles, sweet flavour.
How to cook with finger limes
Here are a couple of our favourite recipes where you could switch limes for finger limes.
Crumbed prawn cocktail with spicy lime sauce
Crumbed with panko breadcrumbs, prawns are pan-fried and served with a delicious spicy lime sauce of garlicky mayo, sriracha hot sauce and lime juice. Get the full recipe.
Barbecue genius Robert Murphy shares his favourites in his new book Texan BBQ. Here is another relatively simple way to create a very pleasing chicken dish. Get the full recipe.