What is Kaffir Lime Leaf?
If you were to look up “Kaffir Lime Leaf” in the Oxford Companion to Food, you would find a warning of sorts concerning the name of this leaf. This is because “Kaffir” is considered to be a bad word in certain cultures, while in others it is simply a word with negative connotations, meaning anything from “backward” to “infidel” and other terms used in “name-calling” (much of it racial). For this reason, this world-renown dictionary recommends referring to the leaf by its Thai name: “Makrut” (pronounced more like “Ma-groot”). But for now, at least, the leaf is still popularly known as Kaffir. At first glance, it would be easy to confuse Kaffir limes with our own Western limes; however, there are some marked differences. Kaffir lime fruit isn’t quite round, but has a small peek at its top. But the most noticeable difference is its skin-unlike Western limes, Kaffir Lime is severely wrinkled and course, not smooth. Zest from this “old-looking skin” is often used by cooks in Thailand, as it