Lemons ready to make a Pisco Sour (Herbert Huamani Jara)
The price of limes (we call them limones) varies in Cusco’s traditional markets: San Pedro, Ccascaparo, Wanchac, Rosaspata, and Ttio. The majority of the caseras who sell this fruit have four different varieties that they offer to the public. There is the Tahiti, the Sutil, the Grafted (Injerto), and the Quillabamba. Their differences are in the size, the taste, the juice, and the perfume of the peel.
The Tahiti limes are large and their juice is bittersweet. They have few seeds and the price of this lime runs between 20/S and 22/S per hundred. The vendors recommend them for preparing limeades, drinks, desserts, and the famous drink of Peru, the much loved Pisco Sour. Their peel is thin and perfumed. They come to the markets of Cusco from Peru’s north, Lambayeque and Tumbes.
The Sutil limes also come to us from Peru’s north, from Piura. The price of this lime runs between 12/S and 14S/ a hundred. They are smaller but they are also more acidic and juicy. This lime is recommended for the preparation of our famous Peruvian cebiches. The caseras also recommend its use for marinating red meats before putting them in the oven.
The Quillabamba limes come in a medium size, between the other two, and its price in the markets runs between 14/S and 16/S a hundred. These limes are juicy and bitter. The vendors recommend them to mix with the Tahiti to make cebiches, soft drinks, cool teas, and the emollients.
The Grafted limes come from Quillabamba and from Limatambo. Their prices goes between 18/S and 20/S per hundred. They are similar to the Tahiti in that they are large and bitter sweet. The only difference is that their peel is thicker than that of the Tahiti. In Cusco they are used to make desserts, cocktails, and limeades (limonadas).
All four kinds of limes are spherical and green. As they ripen they become more yellowish. Their pulp is greenish, acidic, and well perfumed. Within their pulp you will find seeds.
Limes have a lot of health benefits. They are antibacterial and antiviral. Consumign them helps you to lose weight since the juice is a digestive and a purifier. It has calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C.
The lime and its varieties are a great gift from nature since it is filled to the brim with nutrition and benefits for your body.
Having it as part of soft drinks is great for the moments of cold and rain that we experience in the Imperial City
The origin of limes goes to some 20 million years ago and Southeast Asia. It was brought to the West by the Arabs in the XVth century. Now it is considered to have Peruvian roots and represents a great part of our authentic, Peruvian cuisine.
If you do not wish to buy a hundred limes at a time, you can also by them in much smaller quantities or individually. They will run, depending on size and appearance, from 0.20/S onward.