By: Blonde Two

Ugly Lime update here.  Do you remember that I posted this picture of the rather unattractive (I am sure its mother loved it) lime that I found on one of Norm’s trees? Well, after intensive internet research, it turns out that it was not an Ugli Fruit, nor a mouldy brain (as suggested by someone) – it was, in fact, a Kaffir Lime.

Kaffir Lime

Kaffir Limes or rather, their rind and leaves, are used in Thai cooking.  I couldn’t find any recipes that include the juice so I tasted it.  This proved to be a rather Blonde mistake as the juice is bitter and tastes a bit like the fruit looks – Ugly.  The leaves, despite their rather odd figure of eight shape (like two leaves joined end to end) are fragrant and exotic.

As one of the things that I like to do when I am in New Zealand is make Thai coconut soup, this finding was a source of much delight to me.  Yesterday, I went out to the Chinese veggie shop (fabulous place where most of the veg are giant sized) and bought the rest of the ingredients including other fragrant things like ginger, coriander and chilli. The resulting soup was delicious and I have to confess to eating Two Blonde bowls full at lunchtime.

Thai Soup

As Kaffir lime leaves are expensive to buy both here and in the UK, I have been thinking about bringing some home.  The only problem is that you are not really allowed to smuggle green things through customs.  Last year I carefully cleaned and packed a couple of garden bulbs from the garden only to be overcome by guilt at the last moment and throw them away before customs.  It is important to be aware of how much damage pests and diseases from other countries can do to farming and the countryside, so now I am wondering about drying my lime leaves and bringing them in that way.

I can’t see any problems with flying in from China with little plastic bags of dried green stuff in my luggage – can you?