The Spanish Lime, Melicoccus bijugatus, is also called a Genip, Mamocillo, or Quenepa. It is a fruit that is native to the North American tropics. Originally, it was cultivated in the West Indies.
The Spanish lime is not related to the citrus family, it is in the soapberry family (related to the lychee). It is a small, oval tree fruit that has thin green skin. They are approximately 1 inch in diameter. On the tree, the Spanish Limes look like a bunch of small, green grapes. The flesh of a Spanish lime is a peach color. It has the consistency of a ripe mango, with a gelatinous texture. The flavor is sweet-tart.
The Spanish lime tree produces small, greenish white flowers that are very fragrant. The flowers are bisexual, so they must be cross-pollinated.
To eat a Spanish lime, put the fruit in your mouth, and crack the skin with your teeth. Remove the peel, and suck on the sweet flesh inside. The seeds of the Spanish lime are edible after being roasted. In Colombia, the flesh is sometimes turned into a juice.
Spanish limes are available from July to September. They are grown in Puerto Rico, Cuba, The West Indies, and south Florida.
Spanish limes are a good source of iron.
© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2013, May 9). Spanish Lime. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net