The Kaffir Lime (Citrus hystrix) is a small tree thick and lush, with branches full of thorns as its Latin name highlights.
It has origins in Southeast Asia and is cultivated in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It is also popular in Indonesia and Malaysia, the islands of Reunion and Madagascar.
The origin has not yet been determined with certainty, some experts consider it a hybrid between Cedar and Lime, others are of the opinion that this is a spontaneous mutation of Lime. The fruit is about 3 cm and can be round or oval, the skin is heavily ridged and irregularly rounded, bright green to dark green.
The taste is extremely sour and so the fruit can not be eaten fresh, but is used in cookery. The skin is regularly used as an ingredient in sauces and spicy condiments, and thin slices of Kaffir Lime accompany fish dishes. Especially popular are the leaves that form the basis of many salads. The test is fresh and persistent, very suitable for dishes based on fish, for the preparation of fillings, salads, and to create new flavors such as with ice cream.
After appropriate processing, the juice is used in the preparation of some rum based liqueurs that are produced on the island of Madagascar and Reunion. The Kaffir Lime is used successfully by industry to produce good perfumes, because the skin contains many terpenes, limonene and especially the citronelolo that has a strong scent of roses.
In Indonesia the juice and thin slices of dried Kaffir Lime are used as medicine, it's sold under the name of Jeruk Obat which literally means medicinal fruit. It's cosidered to be a strong anti-inflammatory. Thai women use the fruit juice as stain remover, it's also used to perfume the hair and to make them smooth and shiny.