The kaffir lime is also known as the makrut lime and originates in Asia, including Thailand, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The fruit is bumpy, kind of like a golf ball, and it has double leaves that are reminiscent of an hour glass.
The leaves are actually used more than the fruit. In fact it is the leaves that are listed as one of the 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die (Frances Case, p. 612). 1001 describes the leaves as the "signature flavor that sums up Southeast Asian cooking." They are used in Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, Cambodian and Indonesian dishes. Vietnames pho uses kaffir lime leaves along with lemongrass and white pepper. The peel is used in Lao and Thai curry paste, giving it an astringent and aromatic flavor, and the zest is used in creole cusine. This keffir lime was a gift to us from C.c. Claudia.