The Kaffir Lime: a wonderful citrus that originates in Asian cuisine, specifically in Thai and Indonesian dishes. The Kaffir lime also is very controversial in its naming. What is Kaffir lime? What is its flavor? Why does its name cause such a scene? Its leaves are famous for the flavor, and linguistics is the reason for its name's uproar. Read on to learn more.

First, the Flavor

The leaves and zest of the k-lime are the most famous parts of the lime to appear in dishes. They produce a bright, potent lemon scent and the flavors that they add are citrus-y, but in a way you have never tasted. The juice is used less since it tends to over power the other flavors in a meal.

Preparation and Storage

The k-lime appears in broth-y dishes like a bay leaf, so the flavor can diffuse into the dish. In "dry" or non-soup like dishes, the leaves are chopped, and the lime zested to be mixed and cooked with the rest of the ingredients. Zesting the lime is an exercise given the lime's wrinkly rind.

The k-lime stores well in the freezer with a freezer bag, and the leaves store well too. They tend to last 12-months in the freezer where they are out of light, heat, and humidity.

Uproar Over the K-Lime's Name

The name of the k-lime has caused a huge controversy because the word "kafir" means infidel/godless in Arabic, which is extremely offensive. In South Africa, the word is a racial slur that can cause lawsuits. There have been movements to remove this word from the vocabulary, going further than just explaining the history of the word.

Like Modern Farmer, who refers to the fruit as the k-lime in his article, I chose to do the same after introducing it in the name most people know. However, the most common name for the k-lime is "makrut," which is its proper name in Asia.

What is kaffir lime? The k-lime or makrut lime is a powerful tasting citrus that has been used in Asian recipes for centuries and is a common base ingredient for curries. The history of the fruit's name, though necessary to understand, should not turn you off from trying this tasty lime's flavor in your next cooking adventure.