Yuzu Lime Leaves
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Yuzu is a cold hardy tree that produces fruits with thick pebbly rinds and seedy flesh. The tree, branches and twigs are covered in sharp spines that can measure up to 5 millimeters in length. Its leaves are bright green and have a glossy sheen due to their rich aromatic oils. They have a narrow elongated oval shape towards the tip and a short rounded leaflet segment at the base. When crushed, they release a spicy citrus scent and flavor that is a cross between yuzu and pine.
Yuzu lime leaves are available year-round.
Yuzu lime is also known as Japanese Citron and botanically classified as Citrus ichangensis X C. reticulata var. austere. It is a hybrid between the Satsuma mandarin and the Ichang papeda, a slow growing wild citrus which has never been individually cultivated though it is a parent to many hybrids. The name "lime" is misleading as the Yuzu has no lime parentage. Yuzu is primarily grown for its acidic juice and aromatic zest as the flesh is unpalatable with many seeds. The leaves are highly aromatic and have a rich oil content used in flavoring Asian cuisine, medicinal teas and cocktails.
Yuzu is thought to have originated in Korea and from there was introduced into China. It is now commonly commercially cultivated in Japan.