About lemons and limes

The first description of the lemon, which had been introduced from India two centuries earlier, is found in Arabic writings from the 12th century. The origin of the name lemon is through Persian (Limu), from the Sanskrit nimbuka.

Did you know? Lemons and limes when sprinkled on cut apple or pear acts as a gentle, natural preservative, and prevents the fruit from going brown (oxidising).

Lemons were cultivated in Genoa in the mid-fifteenth century, and appeared in the Azores in 1494. Lemons, and limes were once used by the British Royal navy to combat scurvy, as they provided a large amount of vitamin C. The Royal Navy originally thought lemons were overripe limes which they resemble and their sailors became known as limeys, not lemonies.

Did you know? Lemons and limes are both Citrus fruits and are a good source of Vitamin C.

Lime is actually an ambiguous term in the context of fruit, referring to a number of different citruses with typically round, green to yellow fruits, 3-6 cm in diameter, generally containing sour pulp, and frequently associated with the lemon.

Did you know? Lemons and limes are often mistaken for each other, as under-ripe lemons are the same colour (green) as many varieties of fully ripe limes.

The limes most commonly available commercially are the smaller, yellower Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia) and the larger, greener Persian lime (Citrus latifolia). "Key lime" is actually an American retronym, as the original fruit known in English as a "lime" was Citrus x aurantifolia, derived from the Persian name Limu as the fruit was introduced to Europe during the Crusades.

Did you know? Recent research by archaeologists has identified lemons in the ruins of the Ancient Roman town of Pompeii.

Lemons and limes are used as an additional flavour and garnish for tea.

Did you know? Lemon tea and lime tea are rich in anti-oxidants.

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There are now some lemon and lime photographs.