Calamondin oranges, also known as Calamansi or Philippine limes, are small citrus fruits that are widely cultivated in Southeast Asia, especially in the Philippines. They are a cross between a mandarin orange and a kumquat, which gives them a tasty flavor that is both sweet and sour.
The calamansi tree is a small, bushy evergreen that can grow up to 6 feet tall. It has glossy, dark green leaves and produces fragrant white flowers that bloom year-round. The fruit is small, about the size of a golf ball, and is usually picked when it is still green and slightly unripe.
Calamansi are highly valued in Philippine cuisine for their complementary flavor and aroma to so many Filipino dishes. They are commonly used in marinades, dressings, and sauces (sawsawan, a dipping sauce) for meat, fish, and poultry dishes. They are also used in jams, jellies, and marmalades, as well as in drinks such as lemonade and iced tea.
Apart from their culinary uses, calamansi are also used in traditional medicine. They are believed to have numerous health benefits, including boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and aiding in digestion. The juice of the fruit is also used as a natural remedy for coughs and colds, oily scalp, and dandruff.
For more on body care, the calamansi is combined with different herbs, including guava leaves, to create an intimate wash. It is used in deodorants, hair care products, and is great for healing acne. It revitalizes the skin to have a healthy radiance and glow with its high vitamin C content.
Growing calamondin oranges is relatively easy, as they can be cultivated in containers or planted in the ground. They require well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight, and can be grown indoors in colder climates. The fruit usually ripens in the winter, although it can be harvested throughout the year.
In addition to their culinary and medicinal uses, calamondin oranges are also valued for their ornamental qualities. The trees are highly decorative, with their glossy leaves and fragrant flowers, and the fruit adds a pop of color to gardens and landscapes.
All-in-all, calamansi is a versatile and valuable fruit that is widely used in Philippine cuisine and traditional medicine. They are easy to grow and care for, and their unique aroma & distinct flavors make them a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike. Whether you are looking to add a new skincare regimen with calamansi or simply want to add a splash of color to your garden, calamansi is a worthy addition to your citrus repertoire.
What is your experience with calamansi? We'd love to hear from you and what you do with it. Leave a comment!