Nutritionally, key lime juice and lime juice are almost identical; however, they vary drastically in appearance, flavor, and availability. The key lime originated in Asia, although it is now grown in Florida, Mexico, and California, and is difficult to find in many parts of the world. This is especially true when the fruit is out of season, as it tends to not keep well enough to travel long distances. Standard limes, also known as Persian limes, are readily available and grown all over the world. When it comes to nutrition, key lime juice and lime juice are pretty similar: both are high in vitamin C while being low in calories.
The actual fruit shape that key lime juice and lime juice is extracted from is slightly different. A standard Persian lime often looks like a smaller version of a lemon, only bright green. A key lime, however, is very round, with a dark yet bright green skin, which is thinner than a lime’s is. However, appearance doesn’t really mean too much: the real difference between key lime juice and lime juice is the flavor.
The juice from a Persian lime is bright, tangy, and slightly sour. It can be used in juicing recipes, blended smoothies, cooking, or as a finishing touch for hot or cold dishes. As with most acidic juices, lime juice hits all the same places on the tongue as salt, making it ideal for those looking to maintain the flavor of their food while sticking to a low sodium diet.
So what does key lime juice taste like? To put it simply, most describe it as a more intense, better version of lime juice. Although it can be used exactly as a lime, it is often reserved for when one wants the lime juice flavor to be prominent, such as in juices, smoothies, or pies. Essentially, key lime juice smells and tastes brighter and more vibrant than its more common counterpart.
Although different, limes and key limes can be delicious and healthy additions to your diet (provided you don’t consume them entirely in the form of pie).