Australian Finger Lime

Australian Finger Lime

Australian Finger Limes ripen in fall or winter in California, and have a flavor reminiscent of true limes. The fruit is sometimes referred to as “citrus caviar” because the small round interior vesicles pop in your mouth with tart lime flavor. Chefs the world over are finding creative uses for Australian Finger Limes, which add unique texture and a special “zing” to dishes.

A neighbor introduced us to this citrus in 2014. We liked the taste and I started shopping around. I found mine at the Summerwinds Nursery on S. De Anza Blvd, Cupertino.

Used in chutneys, jams, marmalades, savoury sauces and refreshing drinks. In great demand for culinary use as it displays well as a garnish. The fruits can also be frozen successfully without destroying the fruits flavour or texture on thawing, thus allowing us to have access to the fruits all year round. They make an excellent pot specimen.

The fruits can be green and cylindrical in shape, up to 100mm long and only about 20-30mm in diameter. They do have prominent thorns and do contain some seeds. They have a thin skin that ranges in colour from green, yellow, red, purple to even a black. The oil cells on the rind are small giving the fruit a great glossy appearance.

The Australian Finger Lime (Microcitrus australasica) is an understory tree native to the rainforests of Northern New South Wales, and Queensland, Australia. The tree is thorny, with small leaves. In California, the tree has white and pink flowers May to July and fruit from November to December.