Bitter flavor of limes like a one-night stand

The fruit stand man has returned, and I am in ecstasy. He arrived at the west end of State Street, just in time for us to spend a few blissful weeks together before I begin my summer job, hundreds of miles away.  

 

I despair all summer while we're apart and return joyfully in the fall to partake in all the fruit stand man has to offer. What is it, you ask, that torments me from afar and beckons me seductively to the fruit stand man? It's his phenomenal blood limes. 

 

At the scandalous price of seven limes for a single dollar, these juicy citrus delights must have a tainted past. Standard grocery store limes of this caliber never sell for less than 30 cents a piece, so one can only assume the fruit stand man obtains these limes in some illegal, clandestine manner, similar to how one would acquire blood diamonds or elephant tusks.  

 

There is simply no other explanation for such outrageously low prices. The fruit stand man has no choice but to sell superb fruit for sub-par prices; he's got blood on his hands and some produce to move. I'm not sure how many lives were lost in the pursuit of these heavenly limes, but one thing is for sure: don't get between this man and his fruit. 

 

Many compassionate and responsible students probably shun these dirty fruits and their suspicious distributor. My taste buds trump my conscience every time I approach Library Mall. While my already fragile karma will no doubt pay for my thoughtless gluttony, I simply cannot get enough of this corrupt produce. My throat gets dry and scratchy the moment the fruit stand comes into view. If for some reason there's a line, I begin to convulse and speak in tongues. My hands begin to shake the moment I touch the crinkly cellophane, and I can barely see the blue twisty tie through my blinding tears of joy.  

 

When these glorious fruits are finally sliced, the heavens open up and the angels sing. The blind can see. The deaf can hear, and the formerly disabled throw aside their chairs to march to the Promised Land, conveniently located in front of the University Bookstore every day. 

 

Unlike their grocery store counterparts, these limes are never mushy or rock-hard. They are supple yet firm, the way I imagine Jude Law's buttocks must feel. There's never a dimple out of place, and their color is sensational—a blend of emerald and sunshine that just makes you happy to be alive. 

 

But it's the exquisite flavor that really makes eating these limes a semi-religious experience. What hits you first is the shocking acidity of a perfectly ripe citrus, like a gourmet version of the childhood torture device known as War Heads. A light sweetness reminiscent of meringue and newborn puppies quickly follows. They finish with a bitterness that reminds you of grapefruit, chewing tinfoil and your first one-night stand.  

 

These limes are delicious in Mojitos, divine with tilapia and delightful on tortilla chips. They slip perfectly into a Dos Equis or Corona and make a refreshing marinade for chicken. They add a subtle flavor to any salsa and with some decent tequila and triple sec, produce an out-of-this-world margarita. They bake into a sinful key lime pie and turn a predictable Captain and Coke into a refined cocktail.  

 

These outstanding fruit are even palatable on their own—and as my roommate so kindly pointed out, can be used to prevent scurvy. If loving these is wrong, I don't want to be right. If you're in the market for some limes, make sure to visit the fruit stand man. His fruit is to die for, in more ways than one. 

 

Share your favorite fruit stand indulgences with Caroline. E-mail her at clmueller2@wisc.edu.

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