The blood lime is a new form of citrus – a hybrid between an acid mandarin and our native finger lime from the rainforests of New South Wales and Queensland. Bred by the CSIRO and named Australian Red Centre, the blood lime is a high-class, uniquely Australian bush food.
It is a fabulous and a wonderful addition to your cooking. Grill in halves on the barbecue and use as a garnish.
◎ Common Name: Blood Lime, Australian Blood Lime, Red Centre Lime
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Citrus australasica
◎ Comparison: Tahitian Lime
◎ Seasonality: All year frozen
◎ Region: Farmed
◎ Taste Profile: The unique flavour and spicy zing of the finger lime is combined with the aromatic oils of either Rangpur Lime or the Ellendale Mandarin to create a citrus unlike any other, with a unique sweet-sour flavour.
◎ Types: This is a hybrid citrus resulting from the open pollination of a flower of Citrus australasica var. sanguinea - the red finger lime, until recently known botanically as Microcitrus australasica. The pollen parent was either a Rangpur lime or an Ellendale Mandarin.
- The fruit is very nutritious, having very high Vitamin C content and high levels of Anthocyanin, but it is like many native Australian fruits, where the full potential and health benefits are yet to be discovered.
Traditional Aboriginal Food and Uses
As this is a hybrid tree created in Australia, it has no history of Aboriginal and traditional use. The original Blood Lime parent tree was selected in 1990 at CSIRO, Merbein, Victoria, Australia. This agricultural research facility closed in 2009, and all the citrus plants were destroyed. The land was sold in 2012.
Western & Modern
The Blood Limes are relatively acidic like a lemon, but are excellent when used in sauces. They can also be used as an ingredient for preserves, condiments and beverages, or fresh as an attractive garnish for sweet and savoury dishes. They are less aromatically perfumed than a true lime.
These limes are unique and many uses are only recently being tried. As well as the aromatic flavourful juice, and the decorative ‘teardrop caviar’, the skin is often used in herbal teas, and fragrances, while the fruit itself has been used to make gin.
Australian Blood Lime provides an essential source of Vitamin C for a healthy diet. There are no know medicinal uses associated with this plant.
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Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble