Limes

Limes are available in great abundance all year round, and are used in a number of dishes to provide sourness, which is one of the four basic tastes that every dish attempts to balance (the other three tastes are spicy, salty and sweet.) Some people translate the Thai word manao as "lemon" but since the skin of the Thai citrus fruit is mostly dark green, I prefer to call them limes. Thai limes are almost perfectly round in shape, rather than oblong like a lemon. The skin is quite thin, making it hard to zest.

Limes
A big pile of limes in the market.

So extensive is the use of fresh lime juice in cooking that the stalls usually sell them by the dozen, while the owners of food stalls may purchase a bag holding three or four dozen from the wholesale market. A dozen limes will usually cost around 25 U.S. cents. Such is the importance of limes to Thais that an M.P. felt it necessary to bring to parliament's attention the fact that the price of limes had exceeded nine Baht (about 30 U.S. cents) during Thailand's boom years.

In addition to using the juice as an ingredient, many noodle and fried rice dishes are served with a lime wedge as one of the condiments. A squeeze of fresh lime juice over fried rice may not sound delicious, but the taste is quite good.

Limes originated around the Malay peninsula, where they have been cultivated since pre-history.

Weight Information
1 cup 242.0 g
1 fl oz 30.8 g
1 lime yields 44.0 g
1 Tbl 15.0 g
Nutritional Information for 1 cup
Energy 60.5
Protein 1.0164 20.000 5%
Total lipid (fat) 0.1694 65.000 0%
Carbohydrate, by difference 20.3764 300.000 7%
Fiber, total dietary 0.968 25.000 4%
Calcium, Ca 33.88 1000.000 3%
Iron, Fe 0.2178 18.000 1%
Magnesium, Mg 19.36 400.000 5%
Phosphorus, P 33.88 1000.000 3%
Potassium, K 283.14 3500.000 8%
Sodium, Na 4.84 2400.000 0%
Zinc, Zn 0.1936 15.000 1%
Copper, Cu 0.06534 2.000 3%
Manganese, Mn 0.04356 2.000 2%
Selenium, Se 0.242 70.000 0%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 72.6 60.000 121%
Thiamin 0.0605 1.500 4%
Riboflavin 0.0363 1.700 2%
Niacin 0.34364 20.000 2%
Pantothenic acid 0.29766 10.000 3%
Vitamin B-6 0.09196 2.000 5%
Folate, total 24.2 400.000 6%
Folate, food 24.2 400.000 6%
Carotene, beta 72.6
Vitamin A, IU 121 5000.000 2%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.5324
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 1.452 80.000 2%
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.01936 20.000 0%
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.01936
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.05566