No matter where you may discover limes on a menu, they always invoke a feeling of freshness with a little bite to it. For far too long, limes have played second, third, and (typically) twelfth fiddle in recipes, but it’s time to shine some light on them.
But not too much light.
Nothing quite says “sexy sailors and pirates,” like missing teeth, yellow skin, and swollen limbs, or so thought the scurvy-plagued seafarers of the 17th century. In 1747, tired of being surrounded by these stud muffins, Dr. James Lind performed the first clinical trial determining that limes were integral in preventing and curing scurvy. When the British Royal Navy finally started enforcing lime rations in the 1790s, its sailors began to be pegged as “Limeys” and thus began the age-honored tradition of making fun of people for being healthy. 1880 – In Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Amy, the youngest was punished at school for flaunting her first love: pickled limes. 1971 – Harry NIlsson told us all where to put our limes in the earworm “Coconut.” 2015 – Justin Timberlake starred as an out-of-work lime in a Sauza 901 Tequila ad campaign.
The vitamin C and ascorbic acid in limes is as good for keeping your insides scurvy-free as they are at hydrating and rejuvenating your skin. Lime juice often finds its way into various skincare products, but you should use these products cautiously in the summer if you don’t want a rash or second-degree burns. Phytophotodermatitis or “margarita dermatitis” is typically a summertime ailment that occurs when your skin is exposed to the sun after it comes in contact with lime juice or oil from the peel. #NotAllLimes are coming after your skin, but it’s better to be safe and apply some serious sunscreen.
- Liminoids, compounds found in limes and other citrus fruit, have been shown to help fight most organ-related cancers.
- The lime oil used in skin products is usually steam distilled to avoid causing margarita dermatitis.
- Limes are considered evolutionarily older than lemons, hence their lower vitamin C levels.
How to Eat It
Don’t be afraid to show those limes who’s boss. Whether adorable Mexican limes or deceptively lemon-like Tahitian limes, you wield the knife and iron fist. Mix some fresh lime juice with chilli powder and throw that shit on anything:Corn, chicken, the faces of your enemies. Wherever chilli lime sauce lands, it’s sure to make you happy. You can also:
- Stuff your limes with shredded coconuts.
- Hell, stuff your coconut cake with a key lime pie and make yourself a margarita.
- Skip the coconuts and a light tanginess to any sauce.
But, seriously, invest in some sunscreen.