You bought a bunch of limes on sale. The price was great, and you use limes quite often in cooking and baking, so it seemed like a no-brainer at the time. But once you got home, you realized you bought too many. That when you asked yourself: do the files go bad?
Or maybe buy just a lime or two at a time, and only when you’ve planned a dish that calls for lime juice. But this time your plans have changed and you need to know how long you can store your limes and how best to keep them fresh longer.
Either way, if you use limes to flavor meats, add flavor to desserts, or even make refreshing summer drinks, there’s probably a thing or two you can learn about these fruits.
If any of the above questions and concerns sound familiar, this article is for you. In it, we talk about storage, cutting, useful life and deterioration of files. If that’s what you’re looking for, keep reading.
How to store limes
Like with lemons, to give you an edge, choose the best files available. When shopping for limes at your local grocery store, always choose ones that are just ripe or at their peak of freshness.
They must be from uniform lime color and somewhat firm to the touch. Avoid files with bruised or soft parts, as well as those that are turning brown or have brown spots.
Once you get home with the limes, it’s time to decide how to store them. If you expect to use them all within a week, it’s fine to leave them on the counter or store them in the pantry. Just place them in the fruit basket and you’re done.
As with most fruits, such as pineapples, the fridge is the best place to store limes. If you want to keep things simple, you can just transfer the fruits to the crisper drawer or put them there in the plastic bag you brought them in.
If you want to store the limes longer, you can use the same trick I described for storing lemons. The trick is Put the limes in a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal it tightly.. The airtight seal keeps moisture in the files, so they last even longer without drying out.
When it comes to sliced or cut limes, you should keep them in the fridge, no questions asked. An airtight container or freezer bag will ensure that the fruit does not dry out quickly.
When storing lemon cuts or slices, try to set it up in a way the pulp of the fruit is pressed against the surface of the container or bag. This way it doesn’t have access to air and that slows down the drying.
In case you’ve wondered about storing homemade lemon juice, it belongs in the fridge, too.
Fresh, whole limes will keep on the counter for a week and up to about 2 weeks in the pantry. If you decide to refrigerate them, the fruits should last about a month in good shape, and maybe even a few more weeks if you keep them in a sealed bag.
When it comes to cut or sliced limes, they only last a few days in the fridge. Obviously, the better you take care of storing them, the longer they will retain their freshness.
Keep in mind that they will not spoil immediately after those days, but will gradually dry out. And as you probably know, dried limes are pretty much useless.
|whole lemons||12 weeks||4-6 weeks|
|cut lemons||3-4 days|
Please note that the periods above are estimates only.
How to tell if limes have gone bad
Let’s start with the obvious signs of bad files. These include the presence of Blue-gray mold species, brown spots, or wrinkled or soft rind. If either is present, throw away the file.
The rind of a fresh lime is bright green and somewhat firm, so if the changes you see are fairly significant, the lime may be past its prime.
Since the fruit is not dry on the outside, cut it open and see what is inside. If it has been stored for a long time, the skin may look good, but the flesh may be somewhat dry. If that’s the case, it’s up to you to choose whether you want to use the fruit or not.