Calamansi, also known as Calamondin, is a fruit common to the islands of the Philippines, though it is thought to have origins in China. Calamondin trees are common in Asia and referred to by many names, szukai-kat in southern China and Taiwan, tôkinkan and shikikitsu in Japan, djerook kastoori in Java, and hazarao in India.
Though referred to as Calamansi Orange, this fruit is actually closely related to a kumquat. This highly acidic fruit is small and spherical in shape with orange-colored peel and flesh when mature.
We've been working with Calamansi for over 4 years now and we've been surprised by orders from chefs working in different cuisines and also from breweries looking to create something new.
Some tips about growing Calamansi:
1. It takes time
The tree starts producing fruits only after two to three years. If you've heard the podcast you would know the Calamansi trees stood in large pots placed awkwardly near the living room windows or in our backyard, weather dependant.
2. No Shade
The Calamansi tree is particular about its share of sunshine...it wants all of it. At the greenhouse now, we give the Calamansi its own space, light, and temperature. Make sure to remove anything that shades the tree....it hinders fruit production.
3. Water Once we moved to the greenhouse and set up a drip irrigation system, the Calamansi trees had never been happier. Tip: Use a moisture meter to ensure the soil is moist to 3 feet deep.
The Calamansi will grow as much as you allow it. We move our trees to a slightly bigger pot every year. The extra root-growing space stimulates the tree to blossom and fruit.
Calamansi can be harvested when the color of the peel is green or wait until they are fully ripe. For us, it depends on what you require for your creation.
We've used Calamansi at home to make a delicious Calamansi Ponzu and use it for flavored water when in season. Do you have any Calamansi tips for those at home and ready to experiment?
ICYMI: We are spreading #CitrusCheer. If you have any tips, photos or even a joke about citrus that will brighten up our day please share on Instagram with the #citruscheer or tag us @yuzu_lemons, or let us know here and we'll post it.