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There are some wonderful limes here. Do you have to use key limes? (Could anyone tell if you just called it "Key Lime Pie," but used regular limes? (Now I'm embarrassed and don't want to sign my name.....)

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Limon Criollo (lee moan cree oh yo) is the one recommended by our favorite baker (we call him "Pie Man") in Atenas. Tom (his name) says that is the closest to what we know as lemon, and also works well in key lime...

 

My wife agrees so I cannot ask for higher confirmation... :)

Colin

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Tom makes more than just pies, and if you are not in Atenas on Fridays to catch him at the feria, Coope Atenas Supermercado (just below the gas station as you come into town) also has his baked goods. Just go to the back at the end of the refrigerated section.

 

Dana

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I want to make a pie, can I buy key lime juice in Costa Rica or do I have to buy it in the states?

I use Limón Criolla all the time to make a Key Lime Pie. It's the closest you will find to a Key Lime and it's available everywhere. Our little tree produces an abundance all year long. The Limón Missina (or Persia Lime), the big lemon shaped ones, don't seem to impart the special flavor of the little round Key Lime.

 

I've also made a lime pie using the Limón Mandarina, this is the lime with the rough peel and the orange colored pulp. It's good too, but we still prefer the Limón Criolla.

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Someone told me not to use the zest from the CR limes as it imparts a soapy taste to your dish.

 

Never heard that before, but maybe these are limes that have been chemically treated while growing, or before being brought to market. Mine are home grown and picked from the tree as needed. We have never had a problem with the zest. Just this past weekend I made a spicy carrot soup that called for lemon zest, so I used zest from a limón criolla and a limón dulce. It was amazing!

 

Spicy Carrot Soup Recipe

Edited by TxTita

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ditto the suggestions for limón criollo ... here there are so many types of lemons/limes that I can't keep them straight, and the esposo can't figure out why I get confused by there being more than just "lemon" and "lime". I'm finally learning that 2 fruits with the word "limón" in the title can be extreme opposites in flavor. Limón criollo is definitely the closest to what we know as Key Lime.

 

I bet that carrot soup is good ... the esposo also got me squeezing a limón (criollo) in my soup ... works wonders when you're sick and tastes great.

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Never heard that before, but maybe these are limes that have been chemically treated while growing, or before being brought to market. Mine are home grown and picked from the tree as needed. We have never had a problem with the zest. Just this past weekend I made a spicy carrot soup that called for lemon zest, so I used zest from a limón criolla and a limón dulce. It was amazing!

 

Spicy Carrot Soup Recipe

Pat, that soup sounds awesome! I love to make soups but I'm not as creative as you. I'll have to give this one a try.

 

Ciao!

dem

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Isn't a Key lime grown mostly in the Florida Keys and the south and having a taste much more acid than the plain ol' limes we can get in the U.S. stores? If so, I wouldn't think you could duplicate it here. I am still unable to identify what is a lime (or lime-like), what is a more lemon-like, and what is an orange here. I buy the imported oranges at Walmart when I want a fresh orange for zest or juice because I know what I am getting, but the lemons and limes are still a puzzle. Besides, I don't want to zest anything that looks like it has a major skin disease. Juice would be nice though, when I need it for a recipe. I don't want to use something that tastes orangy in my guacamole.

 

Can someone give me names of the ones that taste most like limes and lemons that we are familiar with?

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Here is part of what Wikipedia has to offer about key limes:

=====

The Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia) is a citrus species with a globose fruit, 2.5–5 cm in diameter (1–2 in), that is yellow when ripe but usually picked green commercially. It is smaller and seedier, with a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind, than that of the Persian lime (Citrus x latifolia). It is valued for its unique flavor compared to other limes, with the Key lime usually having a more tart and bitter flavor. The name comes from its association with the Florida Keys, where it is best known as the flavoring ingredient in Key lime pie. It is also known as West Indian lime, bartender’s lime, Omani lime, or Mexican lime . . .

=====

 

Here in Florida, apart from in the Keys where they are popular and are protected from freezing, the key lime tree is susceptible further north in Florida to cold temperatures. A mature tree will be killed outright at 32ºF and will not return from the roots.

 

A Florida citrus hybridizers in 1909 developed a citrus hybrid called a Limequat, with the flavor and shape of fruits essentially the same as that of the Key Lime. The benefit of the Limequat is that selected varieties will survive a light freeze. They can be grown successfully and fruited in St. Pete on the Pinellas County peninsula. Unfortunately I don't think you will find Limequats in CR. But then it doesn't freeze in CR, so.....

 

Hope this isn't TMI for you.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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Hi Pat,

 

Thanks for the link to your carrot soup recipe. Sounds divine AND we just happen to have some limes left on our (unknown variety, but limon-type with orange flesh and very, refreshingly sour) lime tree!

 

regards,

Gayle

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Can someone give me names of the ones that taste most like limes and lemons that we are familiar with?

 

The limón with the rough skin, that some say looks deseased, with an orange pulp is called the Limón Mandarina. Ticos love it on meat, especially chicharones, and it makes a great "lemonade". The large slightly oval shaped limónes with the smooth darker green skin are Limón Mesino are actually the Persia Limes. They are similar in size to the traditional limes you find in North America, but they are not quiet as oval. The little Limón Criolla is bright green to yellow when very ripe. It is totally round, almost the the diameter of ¢100 colones coin. It is tarter than the Limón Mesino and perfect for your Key Lime substitute. Then there is the Limón Dulce. It is large, about the size of a Valencia Orange with a smooth yellow skin when ripe. The skin of the wedge section tends to be on the bitter side, but the pulp between the wedges had a very mild sweet lemony taste. It is good for juice and I've been told by many Ticos it's great for the kidneys and stomach problems.

 

At our local feria in Atenas I can find all 3 of the first types, but I've never seen the Limón Dulce. However, we've got a tree so full of this fruit at the moment, we've had to prop up the branches to keep them from breaking. Now we find the tree is in bloom again! If anyone wants Limón Dulce come on over.

 

Hope this helps you identify the Limónes going forward.

 

I almost forgot, there is also a fruit called a Naranja Agria (bitter orange). The name fits it to a tee, it is a very sour, bitter orange and it will make you pucker. I believe it is actually the Seville Orange and it is used for cooking and marinating meats, especially some of the tough beef we find here.

Edited by TxTita

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Wow! Thanks for all the good info, Pat! Wish I could stop by and raid your tree, but Atenas is now a long way. I've never seen the Naranja Agria in the stores or ferias, but i have a friend who uses them for something. I just want the good old familiar lime flavor and will look for the Limon Mesino.

This has been a big mystery to me and you have helped immensely.

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