Persian Lime, also known as Tahiti lime or Bearss lime, is a citrus fruit sold simply as a “lime” in the United States. The fruit is about 6 cm in diameter, often with a slightly nipple shaped end, and is usually sold quite green, although it yellows as it reaches full ripeness. It is larger, thicker-skinned, and less aromatic than the key lime (Citrus aurantiifolia), which has a wider agricultural distribution worldwide.
The advantages of the Persian lime in commercial agriculture compared to the Key lime are the larger size, absence of seeds, hardiness, absence of thorns on the bushes, and longer fruit shelf life. They are less acidic than key limes and don’t have the bitterness that lends to the key lime’s unique flavor. Persian limes are commercialized primarily in six sizes, known as 110’s, 150’s, 175’s, 200’s, 230’s and 250’s.
Large numbers of Persian limes are grown, processed, and exported every year, primarily from Mexico to the American, European and Asian markets. U.S. Persian lime imports from Mexico are handled mostly through McAllen, Texas.