Black Lime is a versatile ingredient with a famously savory and tart flavor. Ours comes from a family farm in Guatemala, where 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.
What they're saying:
"This is sour upon sour, a quick barb of citrus, and then the musk of fermentation beneath." New York Times
"Prepare to meet your new favorite spice. Remarkably tart without tasting bitter, this flavorful spice is bright and a little bit sour with deep, earthy notes of leather." Food & Wine
- Origin: Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
- Aliases: Limu omani, Persian lime, Omani lime
- Process: Sun-dried, then ground
- Ingredients: Sun-dried Persian lime (Citrus latifolia), ground
- Tasting notes: Bright Citrus • Garden Herbs • Tanned Leather
- Sprinkle into rice, soups, fish and kebabs
- Toss with vegetables prior to roasting
- Use as garnish for cocktails, especially sours and margaritas
- Pairs well with: Black Urfa Chili, Wild Mountain Cumin, Smoked Pimentón Paprika
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.
We introduced our Ground Black Lime in early 2019. Since then, we've worked with our partner farmer to increase production. As a result, our customers (you!) have been helping to offset the recent smaller-than-usual cardamom harvests.
Meet the Farmer:
Our relationship with partner farmer Don Amilcar in Guatemala is one of our longest-standing and closest farmer partnerships. Maybe he was amused when Ethan first visited the farm in 2016 and hauled back a duffel back full of Don Amilcar's vine-ripened cardamom pods in 2016. We all hoped that would be the beginning of a long partnership... and it was.
In 2020, we brought in more than 20,000 pounds of spices from him, which, among other things, helped him build a new farmhouse. (Last photo, scroll to the end. )
Don Amilcar planted his first cardamom vine when he was 9 years old. In the years since then, he's created the only vertically integrated cardamom operation in Guatemala with his own farm, his own drying facility and now, his own export operation run by his daughter Meyllin.
His farming operation is so impressive and produces cardamom so good that Saveur called him "the farmer shaking up the Guatemalan cardamom trade."