A number of times in the course of our years living together my wife has been making something that called for a lime or limes and discovered we didn’t have them in the house. The same has happened to me a number of times over the many years, and my reaction is to use a lemon instead, if we have that. Since most of the time the thing I’m making also includes gin and tonic, with the citrus floating in the glass with a lot of ice, I do not get away with this. She says that lemons and limes are very different, and you can’t substitute one for the other.
The news this week of a huge lime shortage inspired the good folks at Slate to run a blind taste test in their office. They lined up workers three at a time, blindfolded them and then gave them two bits of fruit. The video is very cleverly done, features a cover version of Harry Nilsson’s Lime In The Coconut, and a not too significant sample size.