Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"caviar lime" - citrus australasica

I happened to ask J, the permaculture gardener (see new studio post following this post), what she knew about finger limes."just a minute!" said she "come... look...I have some in my freezer!"

Out came these frozen limes and I took 3 back to my studio with the idea of drawing them. Just before dark J suggested i look at her tree in the front garden where she had grown these shown below. 
Below are a series of photographs of the limes thawing out. Absolutely delicious! Why have I not thought about growing these before I wondered to myself... my Kaffir lime tree is doing nicely...but these are indigenous to this region and suited to the climate here. They also are excellent with seafood and Asian flavours -perfect here as well! The website includes some wonderful recipes like one for Poached Barramundi Roulade with pearls of Finger Lime Caviar, Macadamia nuts and herbs which features indigenous ingredients. People settling in Australia for a very long time failed to value its native foods and others saw opportunities and took plants elsewhere to cultivate and the macadamia nut which was taken to Hawiai.


La Dolce Vita said...

oooh something wonderful to look forward to! I have heard of them, but seeing is just wonderful, it does look like caviar! I will ask the produce manager to see if he can get them! thanks my Sophie!! xo

Sophie Munns said...

Just posting on this has made me yearn to plant this tree and taste those limes again!

Lovely to hear from you La Cat!
Do tell if you track them to know what you thing. I read tonight they are being produced in California in a small way!
ciao bella!
S x

Susan Erickson said...

The colours are like spring. Limes are my fav fruit so these look delectable!

Sophie Munns said...

Yes Susan... young fresh spring-like colours... makes sense. An exquisite palette! And you really do get to taste each little capsule of flavour as it bursts on the tongue!
thanks for stopping over!

Maggie Neale said...

Beautiful colors in the fruit...makes me yearn for lime.

Mlle Paradis said...

Hi Sophie! MAD!!!!!! What strange wonderful fruit. Love the picture of them looking like nouvelle designer caviar or something. I've been shirking my web wanderings a bit this week but just wanted to say thanks so much for being so nice about my paintings!

I will let you know as time goes on what I think about "sharing" them further. Mostly I just have to make more!

Hugs and kisses from la-la land!

Mlle Paradis said...

p.s. Sophie. OK I OFFICIALLY HATE YOU!!!! And that is a terrible thing to have to do considering all the lovely comments you leave on my site and the wonderful things you are engaged in doing. BUT NOW YOU HAVE A STUDIO WITH SHELVES. AND A POOL. AND A PLANT EXPERT TO HAND. And you probably have a really nice journey to it from your house as well. Every day. (Can you see my selfish boo-hoo face?)

I'm sorry but you have made me terribly terribly jealous. And I was feeling so smug about my gorgeous week in LA.

So you asked if I knew about native plants here - yes there are some and someday I'll taken Passage Paradis to a nursery here that specializes in them. But you don't see SO MANY in the 'hood because, like the UK it's possible to grow EVERYTHING ELSE here - desert, jungle, english garden, s. african, australian, chinese, japanese. I was just mooning over some bergenia which I miss so much from England and my NJ garden.

Oh and for the record I did grow a sweet baby pineapple in Hawaii. You all must be so blase about it but for me, what a cool project! It did not last long off the mother plant. (Into hubby's mouth.)

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Maggie...they are indeed gorgeous colours,

Sophie Munns said...

Ah...Mlle Paradis!

You make me laugh!!!!!
Nouvelle designer Caviar indeed...

...just get back to painting and when you are ready we shall have an i-exhibition which I shall very much look forward to... at your own pace!
Its curious how it can take some time to get used to blogging before it becomes a natural and ordinary thing to post on one's work.
Love the way you were hinting at your work but took quite a while to reveal it...I felt much the same initially...
You can relax and go forward now MP!


The catch is - my friend's house is virtually on the market as they have schemed up a wonderful plan to go country so they can really try to grow all their own food and create a very sustainable, creative existence that may well include B & B/dining options.

So the city version of "the Good Life" that I have snuck in for a small part in will be sadly very short-lived... but worth it...for a number of reasons...on the ground garden expert is just the start...

This experience is a reminder that when something is required asking around can lead to fertile places. I was getting a little anxious about having run out of studio space - and a few days later I had somewhere to take pressure off this issue...albeit temporarily.

And when one makes a first step it always leads to the next thing...whatever that may be!

Taking M P Blog to a nursery sounds wonderful... tahnk you for thinking about it....I can well imagine that LA has such a diversity of plants...with people coming form everywhere and all the traffic and no doubt some bringing seeds to remind them of home! That's definitely illegal here now - but I know it used to be one of the only things some migrants virtually had when coming form war-torn Europe or some other direction.

I have never grown pineapple...believe me I am impressed with your effort!

Thankyou for all your lively and cheeky comments that you drop into my life and leave with me... and your generosity of spirit Mlle Paradis.
sophia xo

janis said...

How absolutely bizarre and wonderfully exotic! Thank you Sophie for sharing these...!!!

em said...

sohpie, oh, aha, i see why the studio is temporary now. oh, well... will you be looking for another space? i love the little limes and have not seen them before.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Em,

yes....the house is going on the market and friends will move to pursue their dream. This short-lived studio is perfect for getting things started - always the hardest bit!

Anonymous said...

Hey there Sophie, can you tell me where can i find seeds from finger lime? I'm searching for a while now, I'm from Portugal and I have a house on the south with has a great climate for citrus, and as a Chef I'm always trying to find new ingredients for my dishes, so if its possible for u to help me on that issue. Best regards; Love your blog

Bruno Rato

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Bruno,
nice to hear from you.... a friend of mine said googling is best....and gave me these links!

the last one may be best????

cheers Sophie!
Murwillimbah Nursery in Northern NSW

Chillingham Bush Tucker
s.html featured in a blog
Berardos chef at Noosa - uses it in their local at the Noosa
Supplier worldwide

Anonymous said...

Dear Sophie, thanks for your help on that matter, I'm still looking for it, but it became much more easy. I will keep in touch to let you know my progress. Thank you and best of luck with your art.

Bruno Rato

Sophie Munns said...

Sorry I have not been more helpful Bruno!
It cold and wet at the moment and i am stuck at the computer organising an upcoming event... so if I discover anything can I send this information to you somehow?
Seeds.... interesting...not sure - finger limes are native and I did read that they dont adapt easily to being grown elsewhere... that said they have been taken to California and grown commercially there.
The grow well not far from where I grew up ...but we never saw them - ever- back then!
all the best with your search,

Anonymous said...

You have been very helpfull, im already starting to do some contacts regarding finger lime products it self. Any way in my search you learned about many atempts of growing finger lime in california as you told, and belive me its nothing as a real finger lime its a lime that have oval shape simmilar to a lemon, not the small pearls that citrus australasica has. Well of course I confess that im passionate about Australia, and i wanted to live there, but desteny didnt gave me that gift, I would love to keep contact with you so that not only to exchange this particular interest in native plants and fruits, as also a new way of passing by our own cultures, I dont know if you ever been here in Portugal, but you should think about it...Just look at my photos... not the best of photos, but a small sample of it.
My email is, lets keep in touch.

Kind regards

Bruno Rato

Sophie Munns said...

Thank you Bruno,
its wonderful to hear of your research and that some useful information has been coming to you!
The small pearls do make this lime so wonderful and unique!
I would love to look at the photos...dont worry...,mine are not the best...I often show photos from other sources.
I shall save your email and it would be most interesting to know more of Portugal and also what you are creating.
My brothers went travelling in Portugal and my mother later..but I ended up Egypt... not Portugal after 2 years in London... it was a difficult decision ..I had wanted to go there...and money ran out...

So...its still on my list... If I sell a lot of paintings!
I'll be in touch soon Bruno... Im doing much preparation for a big event at the Botanic Gardens soon.

How interesting you had wanted to come here.
best wishes,