A few days back, while scrolling through Twitter, I came across a photo of a sight I’d never seen: a plate full of symmetrically-arranged lime segments, sans skin. This naked citrus sat beneath a pool of dim, standard-issue lighting you’d find in any domestic setting.
It's the middle of the night but I cannot stop thinking about peeled limes and how evil and cursed the entire concept of peeling a lime is pic.twitter.com/W2OOV8kGZ4
In the past few days, this mere tweet has collected nearly 24,000 retweets and nearly 60,000 likes as of writing. It's prompteda number of confessionson Twitter, admissions from people who hadn't seen naked limes before. This original tweet inspired a motley of opinions: Some have been peeling their limes for years, topping them with salt and sugar (scraping them of skin doesn’t render them inedible, after all), while others recoil at the sight (“Satan’s margarita,” quipped one epigrammatist on Twitter). The tweets were even aggregated by Twitter itself into what we call a Twitter Moment.
These numbers speak for themselves: There’s an astonishing number of people who haven’t seen peeled limes before, and I’m afraid that I’m part of this depressingly large demographic. All this in spite of liking the fruit generally more than most people! I suck on limes for leisure, an act others might consider a form of self-flagellation. Call me myopic and unimaginative if you wish, but I hadn’t even thought of peeling a lime before.
If you’ve sworn by peeled limes, now’s your chance to say you were ahead of the game, that you beat the fad. But if you're more like me, take this as a chance to expand your horizons. Steal a moment to savor the beauty of the naked lime. Peel the next lime you see, if you're so motivated.
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Do you peel your limes? Please let me know in the comments.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.