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Thread: Pickled limes?

  1. #1
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    Pickled limes?

    I'm re-reading Little Women (what a great book! Even as an adult!) and I've just gotten to the part where Amy begs money from her sisters to buy pickled limes, which are all the rage with her "set" at school.

    Pickled limes??? Never heard of them, but if they were so popular, there must be a reason! Anyone have a recipe?
    -Rebecca


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    --DH, aka "Coach"

  2. #2
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    How interesting! I wonder if they are anything like preserved lemons?
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  3. #3
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    The original post piqued my curiosity, so I did a quick search and found this recipe -
    Thai Pickled Lemons Or Limes (Manao Dong)
    10 small unripe green lemons or limes
    18 grams salt
    75 milliliters to 1 lt water
    1 tablespoon sugar
    Method: Roll fruit on flat surface for a few minutes to soften skin. Rub some extra salt on the skin with a little water and leave overnight. (Probably best to put them in a container as the salt leached out a quantity of liquid). Next day boil the water, the 180g salt and sugar for 5 minutes, then cool. Place lemons in sterilised jars and cover with brine solution, seal tightly, and do not use for at least 3 months. Will keep indefinately.

    As for what you do with them after 3 months, apparently it's a sidedish, but whether you cut them up or eat 'em whole, who knows.
    Bye and keep growing those limes
    From: Thai Cooking ClassThai Cooking Class, Somi Anuntra Miller & Patricia Lake
    Posted By: Mark Dodgson, mjdodgson@yahoo.com, Via: Chile Head Mailing List
    Post Date: 26 Aug 1998
    http://www.pepperfool.com/recipes/ca...i_pickled.html



    and some history of pickled limes -
    http://danferren.blogspot.com/2009/0...led-limes.html

  4. #4
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    Wow, I just did a search, and you are by no means the only person asking this question. Google has pages and pages of people wondering just what the pickled limes in Little Women were, but it's short on answers. I would have thought that if the limes were so popular with little girls that they would be sweet or sweet and sour, but it looks like that may not be the case.

    THIS BLOG POST, called "Pondering Pickled Limes," has a photo of a pickled lemon recipe in Mrs Beeton's housekeeping book that might be similar. Interestingly, one of the comments on the post says: "Gosh, I LOVE pickled limes and haven’t had them since I was a child growing up in Massachusetts. They used to sell them for 5 cents a piece from great big jars like the dill pickles were in at concession and ice cream stands. Definitely, skin on (you eat the whole thing). They are so delicious. Please print the recipe! Thanks." Why didn't this person describe what they were like?

    THIS SITE says they were made from key limes grown in Florida: "The limes were pickled in saltwater and shipped to Boston, where they were a popular children’s snack. (Remember Amy in Little Women pining for some pickled limes?)" They don't provide documentation, however, that this was being done as far back as the Civil War.

    THIS BOOK from 1909, Maida's Little Shop, talks about pickled limes. It won't let me copy and paste, but scroll down to the bottom third of page 9 and the top of page 10. (I must say, they sure don't write 'em like this any more.)

  5. #5
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    Don't underestimate a girl's taste for sour/salty. A very popular snack with the girls when I was in 4th/5th grade was a baggie of sliced lemons and salt. It rivaled Pixie Stix as the go-to recess snack food.
    Last edited by funniegrrl; 10-03-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Go to your Indian grocer! The preserved limes in jars or cans, and lemons, are salty, tart and a bit garlicky. Wonderful stuff.

    Bob

  7. #7
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    That makes perfect sense ... that they would have made an appearance in England from India during the colonial period.
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