When we think of the distinct flavors of Filipino cuisine, then sourness would make the top of the list.
And it comes as no surprise that the calamansi (or kalamansi) has been hailed “one of the most important fruit crops grown in the Philippines," lumping it together with the greats: banana, mango, and pineapple.
Still, the calamansi is largely underrated, mostly considered great for making juice or a staple of the hapag kainan (dining table) in Filipino homes, where it is used to zest sawsawan (dipping sauces) like soy sauce.
But here's why there's so much more to the humble calamansi and why we think you will love it as much as we do.
1. The calamansi tree is resilient and uniquely Filipino
The calamansi fruit tree, or calamondin tree, is native to the Philippines. Though it bears fruit no larger than a pingpong ball, the tree can grow to a height of up to twenty-five feet.
The calamansi fruit tree is also one of the most versatile and resilient, as it can thrive in both warm and cool climates. It can even be cultivated right in your very home, in a clay pot with soil, along with other houseplants.
2. The calamansi has a distinct flavor, unlike any other citrus fruit
The calamansi (or Philippine Lime) possesses a distinct tangy sourness that's unlike any citrus fruit. Many have described its flavor as distinct, like a cross between a lime and an orange.
The unique tartness of the calamansi doesn't just make it a great extract for making juice, which can be served either warm or cold, it also makes it an ideal souring ingredient for marinades and broths.
3. The calamansi fruit seriously good for you
Aside from being rich in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, and thiamine, the calamansi has been lauded for soothing inflammation, hastening weight loss, and boosting immunity.
4. Calamansi can also be great for baking!
Not only is calamansi an excellent souring agent, it can provide a great tangy contrast to baked goods, like cakes, muffins, and cookies.
The calamansi is a classic Filipino ingredient with limitless possibilities!
Check out our Provisions page for the latest Calamansi-flavored delights!