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Asher Sauce

Monday, 26 May 2008


Island legend holds that the name of this sauce is a corruption of "Limes Ashore!", the phrase called out by British sailors who found limes growing the islands. The limes, originally planted by the Spanish, would save them from scurvy. We presume that the bush peppers would save them from bland food. Add this sauce to seafood chowders.

Note: This recipes requires advance preparation.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
2 1/2 cups
  • 15 limes, Key limes preferred

  • 1 cup salt

  • 10 whole bird peppers such as piquins or chiltepins or 2 red habaneros, halved

  • 3 cups water

  • 1/2 cup vinegar

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

  • 5 allspice berries

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 bunch green onions, white part only, chopped


Quarter the limes but do not cut all the way through. Open up each lime and rub them with salt. Place the limes on cutting boards, cover them with cheesecloth, and set them in the sun for about a week. Protect them from rain.

The limes will shrink and their skins will turn brown. Rinse the limes to remove as much salt as possible. Place the limes in a large pan, cover with water, and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Cool and strain the sauce. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.



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