Australian Blood limes grow on a small leafed thorny tree with a slightly weeping habit that if left unpruned may reach 2.5 metres. However they may be grown in row crops forming dense but manageable large hedges, making harvesting and maintenance much easier.
The Australian Blood Lime (also known as Red Centre Lime) is much smaller than most limes, approximately 4 cm (1.6 in) long by 2 cm (0.79 in) diameter, and somewhat more sweet than the standard - almost a sweet and sour flavour. It is egg-shaped and the flesh inside a blood lime is composed of red-orangevesicles (the membranes that hold the juicy flesh). The skin is very thin and can be eaten with the fruit. It is usually red or burgundy coloured.
The Blood Lime is actually a cross between the red finger lime (Citrus australasicavar. sanguinea) and a mandarin species and was originally developed by the CSIRO.
Our Australian Blood Limes is from plantations in Western Australia and NSW.
The fruit has a beautiful taste - almost like a blood orange but with a little extra lime tartness coming through.
As with most native fruits, they are very seasonal and we have made a fantastic dried flake from the fruit which has an intense flavour. It is ideal for incorporating into baked products, or in a marmalade or incorporated into a seasoning for poultry, pork or fish and seafood. The deliciously tart sweet/sour flavour of the Blood Lime makes it a perfect ingredient to add to Asian style dishes - so delicious! Try just a teaspoon in a stir fry or something like our Kakadu Plum Hot and Sour Soup
The Blood Lime, as a hybrid, is relatively new and there is not as much research available about it. What we do know is that the fruit has high levels of antioxidants
Storing Australian Blood Lime Flakes
The dried flakes must be kept airtight so as to not absorb moisture from the air.
It is best kept in a dark place, such as inside a cupboard to mitigate the effects of oxidisation from light. This is not harmful but will cause the flakes to discolour and lose some of their phyto-chemical activity.