Sacramento Farmers’ Market – Sweet Limes

Early last Sunday my eight-year-old grandson, who was visiting for the weekend, and I headed out to the Sacramento Farmers’ Market. I like to get to the market early as it tends to be less crowded and the selection is, in my opinion, best. Also the merchants have more time to chat. Besides shopping for my weekly needs, we looked for the unusual, and for things we could sample, and of course we stopped to look at the breakfast “goodies”. We found some huge heads of cauliflower that we joked around about. We were sure it would take at least a month to eat one. We also had an interesting discussion about the differences between a head of Savoy cabbage and a large head of broccoli. My grandson is pretty creative thinker so some of the concepts he comes up with can be pretty interesting. One of the last places we stopped offered a nice selection citrus.

The young man at the citrus booth asked if we wanted to try some samples. “Of course,” we replied, “What do you have that’s interesting? I have some sweet limes. Sweet limes? Yes, they are very sweet, sweeter than most oranges. OK, we’ll try some.” They were very sweet indeed. We both liked them and decided to buy a few to eat later. But, first we would eat the cinnamon roll, my grandson had picked out. It would be our second breakfast of the day.

Here’s what I found out about sweet limes. Throughout the world, they are commercially grown in central and northern India, northern Vietnam, Egypt, and along the Mediterranean coastline. They arrived here in the U S in 1904, from Saharanpur, India and are mainly grown in Florida and California. The ones I bought were grown around Orosi, CA, which is located southeast of Fresno.

Their sweet flavor comes from their very low acidity and like all citrus they are high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. 
Sweet limes can be eaten like you would eat an orange. I also think they would also be good for juicing. In the West Indies and Central America, they cut off the stem end, pierce the core with a knife and suck out the juice. Think I’ll try this version with my younger grandson. I also found that hey are a popular ingredient in homemade marmalade.

If you like sweet and juicy citrus, you’ll definitely should give sweet limes a try.


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