Is there a real difference between a lemon and a lime

@venshida (4837)
United States
May 16, 2009 6:38pm CST
I have recipe that has lime as one of the ingredients. I don't have any limes, but I have lemons. I am thinking I can use the lemon and it will be the same taste. I cannot think of any difference. Is there a difference?
2 people like this
8 responses
@peavey (16587)
• United States
17 May 09
To me, limes have a bitter edge to them that lemons don't, but in a recipe, it probably wouldn't make that much difference if any at all. They're both sour citrus, so it should work.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
21 May 09
I made the recipe with the lemon. I am going to try limes next time to see if there is a difference.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
17 May 09
I think that it would be fine to substitute a lemon for a lime. There is a difference, but it would not be noticeable. I have done it, with good results. The only time I wouldn't use lemon in the place of lime is in a salsa, since the lime does set off the flavor of the spices. Since lemon is more sour, it may not have the same effect.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
21 May 09
I made the recipe with lemon. It was okay.
@lilaclady (28240)
• Australia
16 May 09
I have often wondered this as I heard a chef on TV say that a lime is just a green lemon but I have heard other chefs say differently, i will be very interested to see what answers you get here.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
17 May 09
I would tend to believe also a lime is just a green lemon. It appears as if they are usually smaller than the lemon.
@mgmagana (3621)
• United States
16 May 09
u can probably substitute one for the other in a recipe but i do think that there is a difference in taste when actually eating the fruits.
@venshida (4837)
• United States
17 May 09
Great, I would hate to run to the store just for some limes.
@randoh (63)
• Philippines
31 May 09
Yes there is... and depending on the dish your cooking, the difference can be quite startling. A lemon would make an acceptable substitute for a dish requiring lime. However, if you want to make an authentic dish, you would probably be better of using limes.
@harmonee (1236)
• United States
19 May 09
I think it would be a fine substitue, but they are different. They have different tastes and typically are harvested from different parts of the world. So, although your recipe will taste a little different, it will still probably be good since there are a decent amount of similarities.
@marguicha (94630)
• Chile
17 May 09
There is a difference but if you don´t have the lime, squeeze a lemon, by all means. One of the things that a cook has to learn at some time is that she must cook with the ingredients she has. So: go for that lemon, girl. And don´t tell anyone.
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
17 May 09
I don't know if it would matter for your recipe, but I know you can't really use lemons in key lime pie or limes in lemon merangue pie... They do have different flavors...