New food of the week: Citrus Caviar aka finger limes



I first heard about finger limes just a few months ago when I was looking at a fruit tree catalog.  I thought, "what an amazing fruit".  It's description was:

Unique Citrus:  Australian Finger Lime (Microcitrus australasica) 
One of the most fascinating discoveries in our fruit world, this unusual variety is sometimes called Citrus Caviar.  Contained in the dark purple, 3" long fruit are a multitude of juicy capsules, bursting with intense, sweet-tart, lemon-lime flavor.  Found in the wild in Australia, Finger Limes have been cultivated for less than 10 years in the US.



Well we have lots of citrus trees growing in our garden so the idea of citrus caviar just sounded wonderful to me.  Think of all the uses...I could put it in drinks - little floating beads of citrus; I could decorate desserts with it - imagine a dairy free lemon cheesecake with pearls of citrus caviar sprinkled on top; or just sprinkle them on salads or anywhere you'd use lemon zest......My mind was buzzing!

So yes, I had to order a tree.  I mentioned them to a friend and she asked me to order her one too so we could see who had the better climate for them - Sonoma or Glen Ellen!

But sadly, the company who are based in Oregon, said they can't ship citrus trees to California :-(

Oh dear. I was sad. So I've been asking around at local nurseries to see if they can get one for me....and no luck so far.


Then the other day, I was out in a different part of the county that I don't usually visit, seeing a new client.  On the way home I had to pick up some items for dinner so thought I'd call in a Raley's supermarket.  I've only ever been in a Raley's 3 times in my life - and always this same one. As it happens, I enjoyed shopping in there, as they had lots of different things from what I see in my usual supermarket.  But it was in the produce section that I got really excited.  I'd been around the section a couple of times and just found fresh pomegranates, which we don't normally see at this time of year. This encouraged me to look a little closer, thinking what else might they have that I don't normally see?  

And what did I spy but a little packet labelled "citriburst"! Yes - fresh finger limes for sale :-D


But when I turned the packet over, they looked very unattractive and I figured they were old and out of date.  But on closer examination, I found that their black, dark green color is actually their fresh color! All was not lost.

So 2 packets later and here I am trying them. 

They are fun!  Little pearls of citrus with a crunch to them too!  The description in the catalog was spot on - a little sweet and a little tart. And a burst in your mouth.  The pearls are different colors in each finger - some are a little pinky in color, whereas others are "lemon" in color (!) and apparently they are sometimes neon green!


So I tried sprinkling a few on top of a marmalade oat hemp bar I made, with a little of my homemade soy yoghurt.  Combination of the marmalade with the citrus caviar was great!

The best way to get the caviar out is to cut the limes in half and squeeze each half, as you see in the first couple of photos.

Got to get making some new things now with my new found friend. 


Have you ever seen them or tried them? I can imagine them being great with seafood, if you eat seafood - and a cocktail...well....we'll have to see what cocktail hour brings this evening! Give them a try if you can find them.  They are a happy food!  Something different to delight your eyes as well as your taste buds.

Have you tried a new food this week?

Here's the supplier's video:


Comments

Chia Fresca

I never thought I would, but I like chia fresca!

Never being one for tapioca because I always thought it looked like frog spawn, now here I am drinking frog-spawn-looking chia fresca!!


Chia fresca is a mexican drink - with lots of health benefits - mainly due to the chia seeds which are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids (more than flax and salmon), high in fiber (1 tablespoon has 5g fiber!), calcium ( 6 x that of milk), magnesium (15 x that in broccoli)....

Here is the recipe:
2 cups water
2 tablespoons chia seeds - I like to use the white ones in my drink
Juice of one or two lemons or limes, depending on your taste.

Directions:
Pour the water into a jug and add the chia seeds, whisking immediately.  Leave for 3 - 4  minutes and whisk again.  Leave for 10 minutes, whisk again and add the citrus juice.  The drink will thicken and become like a gel. Stir before drinking.








Don't say you can see the tadpoles starting to swim!!
Enjoy! If you can get over the look and unusual texture for a drink I'm sure you'll love it ;-D
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