We are right in the middle of fresh lime season – it runs March through to September – so now is the time they will be at their cheapest, or, if you have a fruiting tree, you might be lucky enough to be able to pick your own. Trees take about 3 years to start bearing fruit, and they do like a warm climate. If you live in a colder part of the country, consider growing a lime tree in a large pot on casters so that you can wheel the tree into a warmer spot during winter.
Kaffir lime trees are grown for their fragrant leaves rather than their warty skinned fruit which don’t yield much juice. BUT fruit from kaffir lime trees on Waiheke this year are bursting with juice. I’m not sure if this is because the trees are reaching maturity or whether it’s a result of a warmer summer and start to winter. What I can say is, it’s a bonus. I wrote about limes in 2015 and my lime tree at the time (still struggling on in a broken pot awaiting TLC) had started producing juicy limes, too. This tree is about 18 years old, so it may be an age thing. Read all about limes here Limes
Kaffir limes are somewhat different to regular limes. The zest is less citrusy-clean, with a spicy lime fragrance and soft sweet woody note, that is sometimes a little muddy, and it has a distinct bitter edge. The zest is oilier than a regular lime and the juice nicely sharp. Use them as you would regular limes. Read about kaffir lime leaves