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Entry from August 16, 2006
Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie (forthcoming).

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Key lime orig. and chiefly U.S. (also with lower-case initial), a variety of lime naturalized in the Florida Keys and distinguished by its small size, greenish-yellow colour, high acidity, and strong aroma; (also) the tree bearing this fruit, Citrus aurantifolia.
1914 New Smyrna (Florida) News 10 July 1/6 Lack of moisture reduced the *key lime crop one-half this year.

Key lime pie orig. and chiefly U.S., an open pie with a lime-flavoured filling typically containing lime juice (traditionally from Key limes), egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk, often served in a crust made of crushed biscuits and with a whipped cream or meringue topping.
[1940 N.Y. Times 14 July X. 11/2 We have eaten lobster and crabs in New England, albacore in Los Angeles, turtle steak and lime pie in Key West.]

18 July 1930, Edwardsville (IL) Intelligencer, pg. 2 ad:
Fresh Florida Key Limes,

27 March 1931, Key West (FL) Citizen, “Tariff to Help Monroe,” pg. 2:
Before the advent of prohibition, it is pointed out, the Florida keys were the real center of the lime-growing industry of the world. From this county was shipped a big part of the limes used in the United States, the one country where they were consumed in considerable quantities.

When liquor was voted out, however, a severe blow was struck at this industry. At that time, limes were used almost altogether in the concoction of drinks that were anything but “soft.” Putting the saloon out of business cut off a large part of the demand.

Within a short time, however, consumption of limes in soda founts and other places where “soft” drinks were served began to mount and has continued to do so steadily since.

Meanwhile, though, conditions conspired to cut production in this country. The “boom” destroyed many orchards on the keys by causing them to be cut up into building lots, many of which were sold.This meant, of course, that no attention was paid to the lime trees. And because title to these lots is still uncertain, the trees have been allowed to go to ruin in many cases.

Partly because of this and partly because importers have “pushed” foreign limes in the big markets of the country, these latter have come into more demand than the Monroe product now enjoys. In not a few cities, it is said, it is difficult for dealers to sell key limes because “the trade” has become accustomed to the foreign produce and demands that.

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 16, 2006 • Permalink