The Internet Is Suddenly Obsessed with Peeled Limes

July  5, 2017

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.

In the past few days, this mere tweet has collected nearly 24,000 retweets and nearly 60,000 likes as of writing. It's prompted a number of confessions on 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.

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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.


Elizabeth July 6, 2017
Do they then eat the whole lime segment? I use lime zest for various purposes, and I've "peeled" mine before when I've been places with no grater or microplane, but only because I want to use the lime zest. Then I would juice the halves. What am I missing (other than salt and tequila shots)?
Sal July 5, 2017
Why would one peel a lime? And why would anybody care either way? I'm confused. Can anybody explain why this is a thing right now or ever?
Negative N. July 7, 2017
I'm confused as well. A peeled lime? To what end?
AntoniaJames July 5, 2017
You should run an article on what to do with the peel. For example, a bit of lime peel makes superb red onion pickles, as suggested by Ottolenghi here: ;o)