is a lime a fruit or vegetable

is a lime a fruit or vegetable

Is a Lime a Fruit or Vegetable?

The status of lime as a fruit or vegetable is slightly confusing, that’s because it has characteristics of both.
Limes are technically a type of citrus fruit and the outer flesh part of the fruit (the peel) is also used in cooking as a vegetable. Here are some of the reasons why limes are both a fruit and a vegetable.

Fruit Characteristics

Limes have many of the typical characteristics of other citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. They have sweet-sour flavor and acidic juice. They are juicy and have a thick, waxy-looking skin with several small seeds inside.

Vegetable Characteristics

The outer skin or peel of the lime is used in cooking as a vegetable, usually diced, sliced or otherwise cut into small pieces. It can be added to dishes as a seasoning or used as a garnish. The peel is also used in many different foods and beverages, such as desserts, as well as sauces, soups and stews.


Despite its unusual status as both a fruit and a vegetable, there is no doubt that limes are healthful and versatile. For more ways to incorporate limes into your diet, here are a few ideas:

  • Add slices of lime to a glass of water or tea for extra flavor.
  • Make guacamole with finely diced lime skin for a unique flavor.
  • Use lime juice to marinate fish or chicken before grilling.
  • Sprinkle lime zest on salads, soups, or baked goods for a tart flavor.

So, to answer the question “is a lime a fruit or vegetable?” the answer is both. By combining the fruit characteristics of limes with the vegetable characteristics of their peel, it is easy to see why limes are unique and straddle the line between fruit and vegetable.

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