IMG_2688Calamansi or calamondin – (citrofortunella) is our lemon counterpart  in the Philippines. It is a fruit but is more widely use as a condiment.  It is a good accompaniment for pancit or rice noodles, rice porridge or arroz caldo and also can be juiced for a refreshing drink.  It is sometimes used in “sinigang” or sour soup in place of “sampalok” or tamarind. It is also the main ingredient in making the famous “sisig” a type of dish eaten like “tapas” with beer or wine.

The tree grows up to 6 meters high and is a good backyard plant.  It has white fragrant flowers that the bees love and generous in fruiting.  It is a year-round fruit and always available in the market place.

If you have a good supply of these wonderful fruits, you can make a marmalade or jam from it.

The fruits are rather small, smaller than key limes, but juicy especially when it is ripe. It starts dark green and turns yellow when ripe. It has small seeds that you can sow  if you want to grow the tree but it will take some time before you can expect any fruits.  They are available in nurseries, grafted and almost fruiting and sometimes tree has fruits already if you don’t mind paying more for it.

There is a condiment we call “toyomansi” – a combination of soy sauce and calamasi -a Philippine version of Japanese Ponzu, and its good for marinades and sauce for anything grilled like fish, pork or chicken.

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