Black Lime - How To Use


Limes are the sharpest taste of all citrus fruits. Black Lime (Dried limes) are cultivated from trees before they are ripe. 

What makes black lime black? 

Black limes are boiled in salt water to sterilise and reduce bitterness, promoting brown enzymes. They are typically dried outdoors in the sun until they become hard and brittle. Black limes are limes that have been allowed longer to ferment. The drying process develops a vinegary and earthy quality with slightly smoky notes and a light musty base. 

What flavours go with black lime?

Black Limes are a great example of a sustainable fruit, traditionally harvested in Oman, but also in China, India and the USA. As you can imagine this is rather labour-intensive making this unexpected ingredient rather expensive. This traditional fruit preservation is often used for its flavours and aromatics. Today they can often be found in Western cocktail innovations. 

  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Chilli
  • Cherry
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Mint
  • Strawberry
  • Thyme

Our Baharat Gulf of Arabia (A Saudi all-purpose seasoning) and our Persian stewing blend Advieh-E Khoresh encompass tangy and aromatic flavours where black lime partners wonderfully with cinnamon

Health Benefits 

Limes are rich in Vitamin C, and British sailors were introduced to limes after lemons in the 19th Century to protect against scurvy. A disease that is a lack of Vitamin C, typically noticeable in the gums and skin. The sailors were nicknamed "limey" after their escapades into eating Limes to protect against scurvy. Ironically it has four times less vitamin C than lemons, so they should probably have stuck with lemons in the first place.

Do black limes have the same nutritional value?

Though black limes do retain some Vitamin C and potassium, they are less nutritious than their fresh counterparts, but the smoky and citrusy flavours are phenomenal.  

Interesting Facts
  • Limes are native to Southeast Asia. Arab traders brought dry lime to the Middle East. In the 10th Century, Arab Cameleers introduced limes to Egypt and North Africa. Then the Western European Christians brought limes into Europe during the Crusades era.
  • By the 1500s, limes were introduced to the Americas, planted in the West Indies by European explorers. However, Oman is credited with putting dry limes on the cuisine map. This is likely due to the practice of using up unharvested yield that had fermented on the trees.
  • Dried limes are particularly relevant to Persian cuisine and are used in many of their ‘spice mixtures’, known as Advieh.
  • The Arabian Bedouins used dried lime as a black fabric dye and as a traditional digestive stimulant. 
Chief flavour profile

Citral: (citrus and herbal) dry lime is less sharp than its fresh variety. This allows the other compounds to shine through. To add more citrusy profiles, you can add ginger or cardamom.


Blends to try with Black Lime

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