Oh, it has been a long time since Crackling had any bright ideas or pithy observations. There is, however, something of a back log waiting to spring forth. So just as a teaser, just to see if anyone is still out there, here’s a picture of a beautiful kaffir lime with its peel partially zested. An opportunity for pith observation. Do you see what I just did?
The Kaffir Lime, or Ma Krut in its native Thailand, is of the family Citrus hystrix ( I would take that for my Asterix name any day). Three parts of the plant have their uses in cooking
- The crenulated zest holds oily capsules of ctirus and pine volatile compounds – wonderful in a gin and tonic or grated in a sambal
- The guitaur shaped leavse contain citronella and two or three torn and added to a stock or a soup give an intense fresh green kick, any more and the flavour overpowers the other ingredients it commonly accompanies such as lemon grass, galangal or shallot.
- The juice can be used as lime juice in Latin and Central American dishes, for cerviches or salsas but it will give your dishes a unique accent.
On top of all this they are very easy to grow in Australia, just remember to cut back the thorny branches above the graft point and let the wrinkled balls of flavour and their exquisite leaves get plenty of air and sunshine.