Marrakech limetta – Beldi
Citrus limetta Risso
October – May
The Marrakech Limetta was first described in 1921, and belongs to a group of hybrids resulting from the natural cross between a Sour Orange and a Citron, the same parents that gave rise to lemons. Thus, these limes are more similar to lemons than to limes, although easily distinguishable from both. Some limetta may have originated in southern Iran, although they have been known and cultivated throughout the Mediterranean basin for hundreds of years. A non-morphological characteristic that distinguishes limettas from lemons and limes is that the oils in their rind are strikingly reminiscent of those of Bergamot.
TREE AND FRUIT DESCRIPTION:
Vigorous tree of open bearing. Bright green lanceolate leaves. Medium sized fruit, subglobose with a flattened base and flat apical area with a mamelon surrounded by a deep areolar groove. The rind is somewhat lumpy, thin, with sunken oil glands. Aromatic and light yellow-orange color. Pale yellow flesh, juicy, very acidic and aromatic. Presents seeds.
It has been matched to the Andalusian Sour Lime. It can be used as a substitute for lemon, taking advantage of its distinctive aroma. It is preserved in salt through a traditional process to create the lamsayyer, used in tajins, salads or the traditional dish tanjia.