Food Trend Watch: For the Love For Finger Limes

[caption id=“” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Photo credit to dtpearson1975 on Flickr”][/caption] Los Angeles loves the Australian finger lime. I’m no expert on the little doodads but I do know a curious fruit with spritely packages├é┬áwhen I see one - especially when the├é┬ácylinders├é┬ápop up in multiple places across different applications. And I do know how to Google. Citrus australasica, yes,├é┬ácame to the States from Australia over 100 years ago, yet├é┬á“only in the last six years have disease-tested, legal budwood became available to nurseries for propagating the trees” (LA Times’ Market Watch)_._├é┬áThey’ve reached my palate only recently - but in a small span of time. [caption id=“” align=“alignright” width=“240” caption=“Almost-invisible finger limes on crudo at Cube”][/caption] The source of├é┬áinspiration├é┬áin our├é┬álocal kitchens goes├é┬áundisputed.├é┬áIn an age where a commonplace gastronomic trend is to make little spheres of everything, these round, dense bursts of flavor are naturally occurring and sold by James Shanley at the Santa Monica farmer’s market. Laura Avery recently talked to him on KCRW’s Market Report├é┬áand David Karp gives the skinny on the fruit with the “gherkin” exterior in LA Times’ Market Watch. Personally, it started out with a dinner at Cube on La Brea. The picture doesn’t capture one of my proudest photography moments but what was memorable were the little citrus caviar scattered across the delicate crudo. It was the perfect way to highlight and accent the fresh flavors of the fish. [caption id=“” align=“alignleft” width=“240” caption=“Valerie Confections’ Pomelo Finger Lime Marmalade”][/caption] Next, came the amuse bouche by Matt Biancaniello at The Roosevelt Hotel’s Library Bar. For the record: If it were anyone’s cocktails that would warrant an amuse, it would certainly├é┬ábe Matt’s. He cut the 2-inch├é┬ácylindrical fruit├é┬áin half, injected a bit of cacha├â┬ža into the vessel├é┬áand instructed me to squirt it and├é┬áthe little roundlings into my mouth. The sweet-tart combo beautifully awakened my senses and it was extraordinary to experience what an onomatopoeia like “pew pew pew” (in the non-lolcat sense) might literally taste like: Lazrs. Finally, during my most recent trip to the Sunday Hollywood Farmer’s Market, I stopped by one of my favorite booths - Valerie Confections. The label on one of their preserves caught my eye - a Pomelo & Finger Lime Marmalade. At this point, it was none other than a sign, so I├é┬áhad to pick it up (and it’s already almost gone.) ├é┬áThe sour twists of the pomelo and finger limes├é┬ábrought out more of├é┬áthe peel in the delicious├é┬ámarmalade. Tiny lime finger slices were imbued in├é┬áthe light├é┬áorange preserves - and with the help of crackers and goat cheese, the marmalade was a delicious way to snack at work. I have my eye on├é┬áthese marvelous citrons. I can’t wait for more kitchens and├é┬ábars to creatively incorporate them into more recipes. Oh - and as far as “food trend” - it may have to wait until next year since we’re already past season, which ended in December. Regardless, restauranteurs, artisans and mixologists have a new fruit with which to experiment.

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Mentioned in this post:

Cube 615 N. La Brea Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036 323.939.1148

@cube_la

The Library Bar at The Roosevel Hotel 7000 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 323.466.7000

Valerie Confections 3360 W. 1st Street Los Angeles, CA 90004 213.739.8149

@valerieconfctns