Combaya – Mauritius papeda
Citrus hystrix DC.
Papedas and their hybrids
September – February
Although traditionally it has been called Kaffir lime, this is not a true lime, but a Papeda that has been cultivated for centuries in the area known as the Indo-Malayan region, which stretches from India to Southwest China, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Its scientific name refers to the presence of thorns in the plant, as hystrix comes from the Greek hustrix, meaning “hedgehog”. The name kaffir is in not use given its social remarks. It is very popular in Mauritius and Rèunion, where it is known as Combava.
TREE AND FRUIT DESCRIPTION:
A small, shrubby, spiny tree. Very aromatic leaves, with a large winged petiole of the same size as the limb, giving the impression of having “double leaves” in the shape of an hourglass. Small fruit, with a globular morphology and a more or less pronounced neck. Very rough and characteristic rind, dark green initially, turning to yellow when ripe. Very aromatic. Pale green, acid, bitter and very little juicy pulp. It has seeds.
The grated rind is used as a condiment in salted dishes, especially fish, to make curry for soups and stews, and as a dressing for salads or alcoholic beverages. The leaves are also used, since macerated provide a distinctive aroma, or they can be dried and used as a citrus spice. Very popular in the cuisine of Mauritius and Rèunion.