Minnie Finger Lime Makes Its Debut

Minnie Finger Lime is the perfect name for a new citrus cultivar developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. It’s as small as your thumb and was bred to grow well in Florida, the home of Minnie Mouse and Disney World! Finger limes are typically grown in California, but a niche presented itself in Florida, and ARS researchers filled it.

Plant geneticist Kim Bowman and colleagues at the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, are the masterminds behind this new citrus wonder. Minnie Finger Lime is a very small fruit—a little over 2 inches long, but only three quarters of an inch around—and weighs about one third of an ounce. It has pale-yellow to pale-green pulp-vesicles that are ovoid shaped instead of the typical teardrop shape of regular limes. These traits have inspired chefs to use finger limes as an attractive fresh garnish.

The finger lime is sometimes described as citrus caviar because of the appearance of the pulp-vesicles and their firm, popping texture. “Minnie Finger Lime is intended for use as a garnish and for flavoring, much like the closely related Australian finger lime,” says Bowman.

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