Taiwan to start producing ‘caviar of citrus' after 6 years of development

Taiwan-made Australian finger lime may soon be available in-store

Lin Chin-wen with Australian finger lime.

Lin Chin-wen with Australian finger lime. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After six years of cultivation, Taiwan has successfully started to produce the Australian finger lime, also known as the "caviar of citrus" according to CNA.

Horticulturalist Lin Chin-wen (林錦文) from Xinhua District in Tainan City told CNA that after six years of cultivation, Australian finger lime trees suitable to Taiwan's climate have successfully blossomed at small scale.

The Australian finger lime (Citrus australasica) is a small fruit shrub from the microcitrus genus, which is commonly found in Australia's eastern rainforests. The lime is filled with dozens of small fluid-filled balls, which taste somewhat similar to lime, but have a distinct smell and texture.

Australian finger lime. (Image courtesy of Flickr user: Gastronomia Slow)

Australian finger limes have become increasingly popular throughout the world as a premium food due to their appearance and taste. Lin described the taste of Australian finger limes as "unique" and the aroma as "very special."

Lin told CNA that the lime is an exquisite agricultural product suitable for production in Taiwan.

Australian finger lime production could be a profitable industry for Taiwan, as it commands a high price and is used in high-end restaurants in dishes including sushi, cakes, salads, and a wide-variety of meat based dishes.

Lin said that the fruit can also be used to beat the heat in Taiwan, as part of smoothies or aiyu jelly.