Monday, 23 February 2009

Australian native fruit; Finger Lime;

Citrus Australasica;

The fresh vesicles have the effect of a burst of effervescent tangy flavour as they are chewed.

Please enlarge pictures.

The Australian Native Finger lime is easily the most fashionable and exciting citrus product currently available in the market. Demand for the new varieties of limes has been propagated by the like of "Tahitian Limes" and "Kaffir Limes" and their use in Asian cooking which has built up a tremendous following one the last few years. With the development of truly Australian cuisine and its fusion of traditional cooking with Asian influences the use of the Australian Native Finger Lime was a natural progression. The Australian landscape and in particular the rainforests of the temperate, subtropical zones have recently been discovered as the home to one of the most fascinating, interesting and versatile of Australia's indigenous fruits the Australian Native Finger Lime. Read more here

Cuttings and fruit;
The Finger Lime plant, Citrus australasica (formerly Microcitrus australasica) is a thorny understorey shrub of the lowland subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia.
Although there is no documentation that finger lime was traditionally eaten by
Aboriginal people, it's possible that indigenous use was not observed or recorded by European settlers. Early non-indigenous settlers consumed the fruit and retained the trees when clearing for agriculture.
The finger lime has been recently popularised as a gourmet
bushfood. The cylindrical fruit has globular vesicles, likened to a "caviar lime", which can be used as a garnish or added to various recipes. The fresh vesicles have the effect of a burst of effervescent tangy flavour as they are chewed. Marmalade and pickles are also made from finger lime. The finger lime peel can be dried and used as a flavouring spice.
Commercial use of finger lime fruit started in the mid-1990s in boutique marmalades made from
wild harvested fruit. By 2000 the finger lime was being sold in restaurants, including the export of fresh fruit.
There is a wide range of different coloured variants of finger lime fruit, including green, yellow, orange, red, purple, black and brown. Finger lime is thought to have the widest range of colour variation within any
Citrus species.
The finger lime has been recently grown on a commercial basis in Australia in response to high demand for the fruit. There is an increasing range of genetic selections which are budded onto Citrus rootstock. With the sudden high market demand for the fruit the primary source of genetic material for propagation has been selections from wild stock.
In cultivation, the finger lime plant is grown in much the same way as other citrus species. It may be subject to some pests and diseases requiring pest control in cropping situations. This includes scale, caterpillars, gall-wasp, and limb dieback.
Research conducted in the 1970s indicated that a wild selection of C. australasica was highly resistant to
Phytophthora citrophthora root disease, which has resulted in a cross-breeding program with finger lime to develop disease-resistant citrus rootstock.
CSIRO has also developed several Citrus hybrids by crossing the finger lime with standard Citrus species. Wikipedia

Believe it or not:
"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes." - Andrew Carnegie

A golden heart; Enjoy!

Photos TS


A World in a PAN said...

Hello Titania! I have NEVER seen a finger lime! Thank you for bringing it to us and for sharing so much information.

Tatyana said...

I just learn something new. Thanks, Titania!

Sunita said...

How interesting! I've never seen this before though it does look a little bit like the sour fruits we use in our cooking. I'm just drooling over how it might taste in a fish curry!
Is it juicy like the normal lime?

Gail - Fort Rock Glimpses said...

What a wonderful post. I had never heard of a finger lime. I will be hunting for it in my local gourmet stores now. I may have to name request it, because I have never seen it. Thanks for showcasing it!

Darla said...

This fruit is also a first for me, very interestng. Great quote!

catmint said...

Go Titania! no need for tahitian or kaffirs for us Aussies. This is the 6th comment, so I guess I am starting on the other hand ...

Barbarapc said...

Very cool - they look like pickles. Another wonderful reason to visit Australia.

Kerri said...

Good morning Trudi! The Finger Lime is new to me. I love anything citrus, so I'm sure this would be a favourite too.
Thanks for the golden heart! It's just the burst of colour I need on this snowy, frigid day, with the cold winds blowing snow straight across the landscape. Spring is nowhere to be seen today!
Happy Monday to you!

Pia K said...

What an interesting fruit! Never heard of it before. Admittedly the vesicles kind of put me off since they look like caviar (and even before I was a vegetarian I found that disgusting), but the flavour sounds really lovely and refreshing. I wonder if it's available in Sweden, although I'm not that happy about its in that case long trip, hm.

Helga said...

Solche Zitronen hab ich noch nie gesehen.Sie erinnern mich von der Form her an eingelegte Glas.

Maria said...

I never saw this citrus fruit before.
Ha, ich bin so eine Banause, ich kenne dein Frühlingslied nicht, ich hab's einfach gegoogelt :(((
The rose is wonderful! Ah, I smell its summer scent! Hugs, Maria

Janie said...

I've never even heard of a finger lime, but I'll check the stores around here and see if it's sold. Looks delicious. I love that golden flower, too.

Titania said...

Thank you Laura for your comment.

Great, Tatyana.

Sunita, it is very lemony but not like a lemon. The crystals burst and give a sensation of effervescent citrus. It is nice in desserts or fish or whatever dish that needs a burst of lemon.

Reader Wil said...

Australia never ceases to surprise me. There are so many totally different and strange animals, and plants. It's so interesting. My daughter lives in the Queensland rainforest near Cooktown. I have been there 8 times now and never seen half of the plants and kinds of fruit. Thanks for your post.

Arija said...

Titania, I have in vain tried to leave a comment on your MY WORLD post and every other person who uses the same kind. The verification word does not come up no matter what you do. It just displays 'Loading...'

nonizamboni said...

What an interesting & colorful post! And the color of limes' rindand pulp is so easy on the eyes. Thanks for sharing a bit of your world.
Happy week!

chaiselongue said...

Amazing! I've never seen these or even heard of them before. Thanks for your post - informative as always.

Rowena said...

Titiania this is just incredible! I have never heard of Finger lime and if by the stroke of luck I see one at the garden center, for certain that baby will come home with me. Thank you for sharing this piece of information.

Gardeness said...

Sounds tasty. I haven't had much luck with citrus fruit, though. Just not enough sun here I guess.

Sandy Lee Malnekoff Bocon Gertzfield said...

Yum yum yum. My mouth is watering at the thought of making some pan sauteed scallops marinated in finger lime juice.

easygardener said...

I've never seen one before but it may be only a matter of time before it appears over here, if it is being grown commercially. Interesting about the colour variations too. I wonder what makes fruit like this suddenly fashionable, considering they are native plants. Our interest in new foods I suppose (lol)

Elfe said...

Hallo liebe Titania

The taste of this finger lime must be very refreshing. I don't think I can buy it here, or if yes, then to an expensive price.
I like the Asian cooking when it is not too hot otherwise my tongue is rebelling *smile*. Do you still cook Rösti?

I love and enjoy the golden heart!

Have a pleasant evening!

diane said...

What an interesting fruit and so much information. Both my my sons in law would love to use them in their Asian delights that they enjoy cooking.

vincibene said...

Was es nicht alles gibt! So etwas habe ich noch nie gesehen. Danke, dass Du meinen Horizont wieder erweitert hast!


david santos said...

Excellent imagination! Citrus and brilliant posting.

marie-louise said...

Sounds like a very interesting plant. Where did you buy it? Is is the same like a Tahitian Lime?

marie-louise said...

What I meant is does it taste a bit like a Tahitian Lime. Love ML

guild-rez said...

Danke für diesen interessanten Artikel. Man lernt immer wieder etwas dazu. Dann wird es nicht lange dauern, Finger Limes werden hier ebenfalls, angeboten.
Ich hoffe es geht Dir besser. Die Grippe ist in diesem Winter in vielen Ländern verstärkt aufgetreten.
Take care,

sisah said...

Wächst der in deinem Garten? Absolut interessanter Beitrag, danke Tithania. Diese "sauren Gurken" sehen "Buddhas Finger" sehr ähnlich , nämlich Citrus medica L. var. sarcodactylis . Aber dem wissenschaftlichen Namen nach zu urteilen, ist Citrus australasica wohl eine eigene Artund keine Varietät??

Barbara said...

Wieder eine neue und anscheinend vielseitig verwendbare Frucht/Gemüsesorte, die du da vorstellst, liebe Trudi. Macht neugierig und "gluschtig"...aber leider ist sie auch unerreichbar um dies zu stillen ;-) !!
Es liebs Grüessli,

guild-rez said...

Hello Titania,
thank you for your comment..
I am pleased you like my primulas.
Come over to my side of the world, we have -10C right now:)
Just posted my Today's Flowers pictures.
Take Care,

HappyMouffetard said...

Very interesting - I've never heard of a finger lime.

Roses and stuff said...

Another plant that I have never known of before! Finger lime...that sounds exciting!

Anonymous said...

First time I have heard of finger lime; thanks for this informative post. Lovely post.

Hort Log said...

Nice and weird. Does it grow in the tropics ? Do you have any seeds ?

Titania said...

Hortlog, thank you for your comment. The wild growing finger limes have seed. In the commercially growing finger limes the seed has been eliminated. It happened that some of the wild growing plants had branches with seedless fruit those were propagated.

Titania said...

Thank you to all for your interest in the Australian finger lime. I hope that it is possible for you to try this unique fruit with its bursting citrus scented bubbles.

Hort Log said...

Hi Trudi,
this one interests me alot. Do you know of any seed source ? keen to try it. TIA