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The Pantry Quiz #58

Lemon or lime?

Do You Know?

In 1797, a British navy doctor discovered that scurvy -- a disease that was the scourge of upstanding naval officers and pirates alike -- could be cured with a daily dose of citrus. At first naval ships were required to stock a supply of lemons, but limes were easier to get, especially while on duty in the Caribbean, so they switched to limes.

Question: which is better for warding off scurvy, lemon or lime?


Please leave your answer in the comments, and let us know whether you have these ingredients in your pantry.

[Last week's answer: From mildest to hottest: Cubanelle, poblano, jalapeño, chipotle, Scotch Bonnet.]

You can find most answers to The Pantry Quiz by using the search box at right, at the top of the page, to hunt for clues. Come back next Saturday for the answer to today's quiz question.

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Judging by how much it hurts the miniscule cuts on my hand when I squeeze one, I'm going with lemons over limes. I don't know if the open wound sting factor correlates to scurvy prevention though.

If I remember my high school biology correctly, oranges, lemons, papaya, and even strawberries can be used to treat scurvy. But the sailors of the Caribbean found limes to be more plentiful and easier to get, so used those. Thus getting the name "limey".

Well, my first thought was remembering the term "limey" like Lora, but I think that's because as she said limes were more readily available. I think that lemons have more vitamin C and since scurvy results from a Vitamin C deficiency, lemons would be better as treatment. I don't have either fresh limes or lemons on hand at the moment, only some bottles juices to use in a pinch in small amounts.


We were also told oranges,first. Lemons, olives, limes.

Another factor would be what the fruits of the time were actually like -- size, soil, ripeness, etc. They weren't walking into a supermarket with fruit shipped from commercial orchards, picked before they are fully ripe, grown on soil that has been exhausted from overuse... you see where this is going. I would guess that either of them from that time and place would be fantastic.

i am going to say : Either! perhaps their powers are equal?


I'm going for either one!

I TOO think either.

I don't know, but if I had to guess I'd say lime because the juice seems more concentrated!


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