If Life Gives You Limes…


I don’t think I realised that my life in Mexico was lemonless for quite a long time. I realised that I was using the word “limones” to ask for limes, whereas in other Spanish speaking countries I had asked for “limas”, but I think that was as much as I thought about it for a while. Then suddenly one day when I wanted to bake a lemon cake, I realised lemons were nowhere to be found. Trying to describe lemons at the market was just comical and the supermarkets had none in sight.

Turns out they just really aren’t very common and/ or popular and when you can find them, they are pretty pricey. Suddenly, the phrase “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” becomes more like “if life gives you lemons, definitely don’t waste them making lemonade…oh and tell me where you got them”.

In the UK, lemons (that it turns out in Mexico are called limón real, real or royal lime) are the more common fruit and limes are somewhat exotic. In Mexico, however,  the lime has become my trusty friend that I use for everything.

I have tried making my own coconut oil based natural deodorants but I have to be honest, rubbing half a refrigerated lime on my pits every morning does a far better job. Simple, natural and effective.

Early morning digestive drink
Every morning I drink a mug of warm water with lime juice 30 minutes before eating anything. It is the perfect way to start the day for so many reasons as mentioned here.

Bottle top cleaner
It is said that the lime in your beer wasn’t put there for aesthetics or for flavor, but for its antibacterial properties. The acid in the lime kills bacteria making a bottle that could have been sitting in a dirty cellar for a while, safe to drink!

Lime and Honey Face Cleanse
You know those days when you look in the mirror and you just look dull, and it is usually the day when you want to look your best. Grab a lime from the fridge, cut it in half and smother it in honey. Rub the lime on your face spreading the honey and lime juice all over. Leave for five minutes and rinse to see your instantly glowing skin, perfect to head out and paint the pueblo red!

Taco topper
Maybe it is because I have never had a taco drenched in lemon juice but I can’t imagine anything better than my tacos al pastor saturated in lime. Delicious!

So if a limón is lime and a limón real is a lemon, then what is a lima? Well, it is like a mixture between a lemon and lime and a clementine with a yellowy organgey flesh …or you know what, maybe just check out the picture here.


Photo Credit: Nikhol Esteras Photography
Susannah Rigg is a freelance writer and Mexico specialist. Her work has been featured in BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR and The Independent among others . Check out her portfolio here. Contact Susannah by email, info [at] mexicoretold [dot] com and join her on Instagram and Twitter.

12 thoughts on “If Life Gives You Limes…

  1. haha this took me ages to explain when I first got here, my first pancake day just wasnt the same without lemons! Here in DF ‘Lima’ tends to be the accepted word, the big market just down the road from my house always has them – pancake day will be a success next time round 🙂

    • Totally agree on the pancake day thing. Lime just doesn’t cut it on a pancake. That is the one time I might splurg but unfortunately in Oaxaca the places that sell them are super limited. I am in D.F quite a lot and I wander really slowly around the supermarket going “wow, look at all the things you can get here” haha.

  2. Pingback: P’s at Christmas Time | Mexico Retold

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