Black Lime is a versatile ingredient with a famously savory and tart flavor. Ours comes from a family farm in Guatemala. The limes are sun-dried, then ground into an easy-to-use powder. A versatile ingredient common in Persian cooking, they have a savory, tart flavor that's great on roasted meat or vegetables, in stews and anywhere you'd use lime juice. It's also a good alternative to Makrut / lime leaves in southeast Asian dishes.
Guatemala exports 80% of the world’s cardamom. Much of their cardamom ends up in the Middle East, where cardamom coffee is a morning staple. Our partner farmer's Middle Eastern customers wanted to see if he could also provide them with whole black limes, another spice common in Persian cuisine, and he was happy to oblige.
Meet the Farmers:
Our relationship with partner farmer Don Amilcar in Guatemala is one of our longest-standing and closest farmer partnerships. He grows the limes that are dried to make our ground black lime.
Cecilia and her husband Jonathan work together with Emilio (Milo) to run the drying facility two hours outside Guatemala City. Cecilia's father learned how to dry limes from a Middle Eastern spice buyer in the 1970s, and they made a family business of drying and grinding the limes that grow abundantly in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. (They are not used in the local cuisine, but Cecilia makes a mean lemon pie with the ground black lime.)
Cecilia, Jonathan and Milo oversee a hand-built drying area of rows of raised earth platforms that stretch as far as the eye can see. Furrows between the rows give the lime juice an outlet to run off into as they dry. It takes 2-3 months for the limes to transform from bright green fresh fruit to sun-cured, blackened, hard limes. The process is overseen by workers who turn the limes throughout the day, ensuring they dry evenly.
We were fortunate to meet and talk with the team at the drying facility on our sourcing trip to Guatemala in March 2022. When you try this black lime, you can taste their expert knowledge and dedication to perfect sun-drying!
- black lime
I love all Burlap and Barrel spices. I bought this because my roommate in college made the most fabulous Middle Eastern meatloaf with dried lemon or dried lime - it was black. And she brought the spice from either Abu Dhabi or Saudi Arabia. This spice was mixed with the meat, and it was a great flavor enhancer. The topping was a tomato based sauce much like typical American meatloaf, except tomato paste and other spices were used instead of ketchup and mustard and brown sugar and Worcester sauce. Also there was a layer of peas on the top. This spice reminded me of that dish, but I still haven’t tried it because I haven’t found the recipe. If anyone has any recipes for this spice that sound Middle Eastern and are similar, please get in touch. Thanks!
Seriously never used anything like these spices! Super fresh and flavorful. The packaging is gorgeous too. Would recommend to anyone.