This photo is a little indicative of the metamorphosis of the calamansi. In its unripe state it is a standard green, which eventually hails to a playful tangerine hue. Dubbed the “golden lime,” these little fruits were always around on the kitchen table growing up.
My mother never took them out until the very end of the meal preparation, when it was time to balance the soy sauce with some allotment of sour. The calamansi is an interesting citrus because its taste is sour but its peel is sweet. As a flavoring agent it is ideal: it has a burst that lingers that isn’t too intense. Because the calamansi is available year-round in the Philippines, foodwise, it is one of the main condiments (such as in pancit).
I was just watching 60 minutes and a segment they had on Flavorists. This was a segment regarding the “fruit flavors”:
Dawn Streich: In our fruit flavors we’re talking about, we want a burst in the beginning. And maybe a finish that doesn’t linger too much so that you want more of it.
Hassel: And you don’t want a long linger, because you’re not going to eat more of it if it lingers.
Safer: Aha. So I see, it’s going to be a quick fix. And then–
Hassel: Have more.
Safer: And then have more. But that suggests something else?
Safer: Which is called addiction?
Safer: You’re tryin’ to create an addictive taste?
Streich: Or something that they want to go back for again and again.
If you are interested in the flavor industry or how exotic flavors can be commoditized to be marketed commercially, you should definitely watch it! Not only is it revealing on the science itself, but it has a segment where flavorists go out and “taste”, and their remarks were fascinating. How scientists are able to extrapolate and pinpoint so many aromas, tastes, feelings and potential uses of a flavor was a thrill to watch. By the way — my aunt, herself is a member of this elite profession. She is a flavor scientist in the northeast U.S., and has a widely acclaimed blog: www.flavorscientist.com. From reading her blog, you’ll learn so much about some of the products you eat!
Back to the Calamansi….in exploring the versatility of this fruit, here are some uses of the Calamansi:
Uses of the Calamansi:
- As a flavoring agent — beverages, fish, pork, sauces, cakes, etc.
- As a condiment
- As ice cubes! I’ve heard of people freezing them whole and using them as ice cubes in beverages. A great way to add some flare and festivity to the party! And, might I add…progressive!
- As an insect repellant.Rub the calamansi on insect bites to help relieve the itching and irritation.
- As a natural acne medicine
- Smelling a fresh cut calamansi plant is used as a preventive measure against dizziness and nausea.
- As a cough medicine. Squeeze 3 calamansi into a bed of hot water and drink for an instant soothe.
- The calamansi is even given to pregnant women after childbirth for alleviation.
Have a wonderful Sunday,