Lime leaf is now banned in this country: Any suggestions of how that wonderful flavor can be achieved in Thai recipes without it? Also, does anyone know if that ban will be lifted soon? Thanks.



Droplet August 7, 2011
I assume the ban is only for imported leaves. I am not sure how they would manage to enforce a ban on growing it at home for personal use. I personally think that the leaves and zest have a distinct character and using leaves from a relative citrus variety would be a better way to go in my opinion. I have seen kaffir lime being sold in domestic nurseries, if you can track one down, you could call them and ask how that ban applies to them.
Greenstuff August 7, 2011
Thanks for your links, kevin.townley. Better than that first .pdf is your second search result,

And the regulations record is all at!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2008-0015

The references indicate that the ban is not nation-wide but limited to some states and parts of states. The exemption for treated kaffir lime leaves, as far as I can tell, limits imports to treated material rather than suggests that only domestic leaves are allowed.

So, I'm still a little confused. But interested. Thanks for bringing up an interesting and important topic.
PhilVan August 7, 2011
This is a emergency citrus transport ban to limit the spread of citrus greening disease. It is a bacterial plant disease that has no effect on humans. These restrictions need to be observed to slow the spread of the disease.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 7, 2011
There must be domestic source - I've seen them in my local Whole Foods off and on over the last couple years.
kevin.townsley August 6, 2011

It's the first PDF, it lists Kaffir as a carrier for Diaphorina citri. Kaffir leaves are given special exemption, but only if they are processed correctly, which as far as I can tell means that they can't be imported but must come from a domestic source.
christy August 4, 2011
some asian markets will sell it to you...but they keep it behind the counter.i suspect they are growing it or obtaining it within the US. i am in california and just today saw a kaffir lime tree for sale at my local nursery. i just might go back and get it!
Greenstuff August 3, 2011
I have some in my freezer, that I bought fresh well after that date. Are there domestic commercial growers? And can you provide a link to the USDA ban, kevin.townsley? I've been looking on the site and don't see it.
kevin.townsley August 3, 2011
It's not a rumor betteirene, on February 17th 2010 the USDA banned the import of kaffir lime leaves. This is backed up by ever single asian market I have called in the Boston area and the USDA website.
betteirene September 18, 2010
This has been circulating every couple of years for at least the last 10 years. There is no ban. Never has been. If you are really, really worried about your next bowl of authentic Tom Yum, you can grown your very own kaffir lime tree indoors--there are a lot of nurseries in Florida that ship seedlings.
pierino September 18, 2010
If you can find tree stock you can grow your own. They do however attract white flies and other unfriendly, mini flying agents of destruction.
luvcookbooks September 17, 2010
Kalustyan's sold a friend some kaffir lime leaves recently- are dried ones banned, too? These were dried.
Kitchen B. September 17, 2010
If you can get kaffir limes you can use the zest.....and I'm sure you won't be able to if the leaves are banned
TiggyBee September 17, 2010
Maybe this link will help?
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