Kathleen Purvis Q&A

What’s the best way to store limes?

September 3, 2013 

Q: I buy big bags of limes at Costco. What’s the best way to store them? If I keep them in the refrigerator, they turn brown, but they seem to be moist inside. If I leave them on the counter, the rind gets hard after several days. Lemons seem to last longer in the refrigerator.

A: Lemons have thicker rinds, so they do last longer than limes. Keep both limes and lemons in the refrigerator. If you have a vegetable drawer, that’s a good spot to keep them from drying out. Keep them in a mesh bag or loose; a plastic bag may hold in too much moisture and cause them to rot or get moldy faster.

Limes usually will last a few weeks before they start to show brown spots. If there are just a few spots, the inside is still moist and can be used. That’s also your signal that they’re getting short on life.

Before they turn completely brown, juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Put the cubes in a resealable freezer bag and they’re ready to go when you need them. You can grate the zest and freeze that as well, or add it to the cubes of juice for more color and flavor.

Email questions about cooking or food to Kathleen Purvis, kpurvis@charlotteobserver.com.

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