Thorny and very unfriendly, the Native Finger Lime is not the most beautiful tree in the world but produces a finger shape fruit whose flesh consists of tiny balls that look like caviar are bursting with zesty lime. Truly a treat with zing.
Before settlement Finger Lime trees lined Sydney’s Parramatta River. Today they thrive under cultivation in the northern rivers district of New South Wales. The tree takes more cold weather than most of the citruses and they’re native to Australia. The fruit is 5-10cm long and 1-2cm diameter, and skins can be green, red, purple, yellow or black.
When you cut them open, the fruit of translucent spheres resembles caviar, the colour of the pearls can vary from pink to limey-green or palest champagne, depending on the variety and the climate in which they are grown. Each one of the little flavour bombs has the most intense and wonderful lime flavour, great for garnishing hors d’oeuvres, Asian salads, cooking with fish, desserts etc.
A simple yet stunning hors d’oeuvre to make is to top a cracker biscuit with coriander, smoked salmon, a little bit of dill then top with some Finger Lime flesh – watch your guests face as the tiny balls of lime explode.