French: combawa ou lime Kaffir
Originally from India, the kaffir lime was introduced to the islands of the Indian Ocean in the late 18th century. It is now very common in the cooking of Reunion island. Less regular in shape and smaller than the lemon, it is also more sour. The juice, zest and leaves can all be used to flavor a dish or make a thirst-quenching drink.
The kaffir lime is an ancient fruit that is round, green, small and bumpy. It is harvested in October and November when deep green and ripe. It is often used in aromatherapy, in which case it is picked before maturity when the essential oils are at their peak.
The tree is easily recognizable by its highly alate leaves (i.e., with winglike extensions) and the many thorns found on its branches.
The bark of the kaffir lime tree has a very intense aroma, reminiscent of citronella.
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