What do you call Citrus hystrix? Kaffir lime, or makrut lime? Chances are it’s the first one, but did you know what an offensively racist term that is?
Makrut lime is the common name widely used throughout Asia, including Thailand, where it is a common (and delicious) cooking ingredient. Although it has strangely wrinkled fruit and oddly lobed leaves, it’s essential for adding that special citrus zing.
However, makrut lime is more often called Kaffir lime in the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. But did you know that ‘kaffir’ is a slang Afrikaans word that’s equivalent to n*gger for many Africans? Originally an Arabic word meaning ‘unbeliever’, its meaning is now clearly very offensive to many people.
Australia has managed to adapt to a renaming of its ‘black boys’ as ‘grass trees’ – let’s push out kaffir and make makrut our flavour of the day.