The fingerlime is a native Australian bushfood, which provides a unique taste sensation. If you haven’t tried a finger lime before, you’re in for a treat with your first taste! Known also as “citrus caviar”, the interior pulp of the finger lime has a roe like appearance which “pop” as you eat them, releasing a fresh burst of lime juice into your mouth.
Although finger limes have been used as a food source by Aboriginal people for thousands of generations, they have only fairly recently found their way into restaurants and farmers markets, and are gaining poularity with chefs and home cooks alike. The fruit is cylindrical, and between 4-8 cm long, sometimes slightly curved. The pulp colour varies from green to pink to red, although skin colour is not always an indication. Nutritionally, finger limes have high vitamin C content.
To eat a finger lime, cut the fruit in half lengthways and scoop out the inner pearls with a small spoon. I wouldn’t recommend eating the skin, as it is too tough, but looks great as a garnish. Finger limes can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Fingers limes have many uses in the kitchen, both sweet and savoury. Some suggestions are:
- Add finger limes pearls to a glass of bubbles or a gin and tonic
- Serve with fresh seafood – finger limes pair particularly well with oysters
- Add to a salad or fruit salad
- Use as a garnish for a dessert such as cheesecake or pavlova. Great on a Key Lime Pie.
- Add to a sauce or dressing, either sweet or savoury
- Use finger limes to make marmalade
Finger limes are grown in South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales, and are currently available at the Noosa Farmers Market. The season runs from January to March.