Don't be fooled by their lemon-like appearance.

Advertisement
yellow sweet lime on tree
Credit: Getty / jaboticaba

Few things are as refreshing and tart as a perfectly ripe lime. Known for its pucker-inducing flavor, you might be surprised to learn that there's a type of lime with a more amenable taste. Known as sweet limes, the citrus can be easily mistaken for lemons because of their yellow color, but their sweetness makes them quite the opposite.

All About Sweet Limes

The citrus is from the genus Citrus limettioides. While experts cannot say where or how the sweet lime originated, it's thought to be a hybrid between a Mexican-type lime and a sweet lemon or sweet citron, according to Purdue University College of Agriculture. It is thought to be native to India, but central and northern India, northern Vietnam, Egypt, and other countries around the coasts of the Mediterranean, and tropical America, are the main areas of cultivation.

Like their tart lime cousins, sweet limes start off green but turn into a bright yellow that often has people confusing them for lemons. Yellow sweet limes are ripe for picking while green ones haven't reached their full sweetness yet and should stay on the vine.

Sweet Lime Uses

Sweet limes have a unique flavor because they have less acid than ordinary limes. In India, Vietnam, Egypt, and on the Mediterranean coast, they're grown as commercial crops. Because it's high in vitamin C and dietary fiber, sweet lime juice is used in areas of the world, like India, to soothe a number of ailments, including throat infections, nausea, and fevers.

Sweet limes can be eaten like any ripe fruit. They can also be sliced and added to water instead of lemon, or added to a citrus salad for some extra flavor—sweet limes are a versatile fruit that can be substituted in instances that would normally call for a lime. Try them in our Limeade recipe, for an extra dose of sweetness.

Comments (10)

Martha Stewart Member
January 5, 2019
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SLEEPBABY.ORG<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SLEEPBABY.ORG<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!
Martha Stewart Member
January 4, 2019
rupauls drag race all stars s04e04
Martha Stewart Member
March 14, 2018
Had my first sweet lime yesterday - delicious!
Martha Stewart Member
September 3, 2008
Our company grows, packs and sells these sweet limes throughout the USA. I put a video on youtube of the packing we do on these Sweet Limes. We have been growing them since the mid 1980's. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtQ_O9hNSJo
Martha Stewart Member
June 27, 2008
That is so SWEET of you Martha. This episode is great, The Palestine sweet Lime tree, you took me some 40 years back, to my Greandma place in Palestine, where they used to grow lots of Sweet Lime trees in the backYard , her house was surounded with lemon, lime, sweet limes and Oranges.... Now i live in Canada for a while and i am dying to grow the lime tree inside my place , please help me and guide me where in Canada and how i can grow them, i love citrus and yearn to my childhood in the old country - now the land of sad Oranges as some novelist quote - where i use to smell the roots and small buds of the lemon trees... Thank you so much for your show, i love it so much.
Martha Stewart Member
March 7, 2008
I live in an old barrio in Arizona, and sweet lime trees are a tradition here. There are still many sweet lime trees in the neighborhood. I worked with a chef who produced sweet lime marmalade for historic hotel here using sweet limes from the dishwasher's tree in the barrio.
Martha Stewart Member
February 28, 2008
Star Nursery is also in UT and has a web address www.starnursery.com. The limes are yellow like lemons, delicious and so sweet. You cut and eat them as they are but there are a few seeds.They are wonderful for nausea from chemo, pregnancy,
Martha Stewart Member
February 28, 2008
The lime you are looking for is the Palestine sweet lime. They sell them anywhere you can get exocite fruit. I am in Nevada and the sell the plant at Star Nursery. Nursery is in states of AZ, NV
Martha Stewart Member
January 15, 2008
I don't know which lime was discussed on the show, but my garden favorite out here in California is the seedless Bearss (yes, two Ss). With monthly feedings, I get two to three crops a year (including in the winter) off my dwarf tree... several hundred very large limes... which I juice and freeze as bags of cubes for the best limeade (and cocktails ingredient) year 'round. Once you've tasted it, you'll never use another kind of lime, again.
Martha Stewart Member
January 15, 2008
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE EXACT NAME OF THE SWEET LIME FROM INDIA AND WHERE CAN YOU GET THE PLANTS. ALSO, IN WHAT STATES DOES IT GROW? I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA