Native to a region somewhere between India and Malaysia; West Indian lime has a goldish yellow skin with small seeds and extremely sharp lime flavour. The Tahitian lime is green skinned with no seeds and has a milder flavour and Kaffir Lime has a distinctive wrinkled skin.
Choose a firm fruit with thin, shinny skin and one that is heavy for its size. (Sign of good juice content). Avoid any fruit which seems light for its size, shrivelled, soft or significantly discoloured. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Kaffir Lime is grown for the leaves which are particularly used in Thai cuisine. The fruits, especially the fruit skin, may also be used. Kaffir lime has a very strong, characteristic fragrance. Dried leaves lose their flavour within a year and are better kept frozen.
Use lime juice for cleaning the inside of coffee pots. Diluted lime juice will dissolve calcium deposits in tea kettles overnight. Grind a whole lime in the electric garbage-disposal to eliminate unpleasant odour. The leaves or an infusion of the crushed leaves may be applied to relieve headache.