Now you can try the citrus family's 'caviar'
This year, for the first time, you don't have to be a scientist or an Australian to taste citrus caviar from legendary finger limes: A small harvest from commercial plantings in California has started to show up at local markets and restaurants.
The finger lime is very different from other citrus, somewhat resembling a gherkin, elongated and up to 3 inches in length. Its skin is thin and can range from purplish or greenish black, the most typical color, to light green or rusty red. When the fruit is cut in half, the juice vesicles, which are under pressure, ooze out as if erupting from a mini-volcano. Unlike the tender, tear-drop-shaped juice sacs in standard citrus, the translucent, greenish-white or pinkish vesicles in finger limes are round and firm, and pop on the tongue like caviar, releasing a flavor that combines lemon and lime with green and herbaceous notes. The rind oil is also quite aromatic, and contains isomenthone, which is common in mint but rare in citrus.
Photo credit: David Karp