Botanical Name: Citrus x microcarpa
Species: C. microcarpa
Common Names:Calamansi, Citrofortunella mitis, also known as calamondin or Philippine lime, is an economically important citrus hybrid predominantly cultivated in the Philippines.
Calamansi is native to the Philippines and surrounding areas in southern China, Taiwan, Borneo, and Sulawesi. Calamansi is ubiquitous in traditional Filipino cuisine. It is used in various condiments, beverages, dishes, marinades, and preserves. Calamansi is also used as an ingredient in the cuisines of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Calamansi, Citrus x microcarpa, is a shrub or small tree growing to 3–6 m (9.8–19.7 ft). The plant is characterized by wing-like appendages on the leaf petioles and white or purplish flowers. The fruit of the calamansi resembles a small, round lime, usually 25–35 mm (0.98–1.38 in) in diameter, but sometimes up to 45 mm (1.8 in). The center pulp and juice is the orange color of a tangerine with a very thin orange peel when ripe. Each fruit contains 8 to 12 seeds.
Cultivation: The Philippines is the only major producer of calamansi. It is primarily grown for its juice extracts which are exported to the United States, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and Hong Kong, among others. The Philippines exports between 160,000 and 190,000 metric tons of calamansi juice each year. Major production centers include the Southwestern Tagalog Region, Central Luzon, and the Zamboanga Peninsula. Its cultivation has spread from the Philippines throughout Southeast Asia, India, Hawaii, the West Indies, and Central and North America, though only on a small scale.
In sub-tropical and parts of warm temperate North America, ×Citrofortunella microcarpa is grown primarily as an ornamental plant in gardens, and in pots and container gardens on terraces and patios. The plant is especially attractive when the fruits are present.
The plant is sensitive to prolonged and/or extreme cold and is therefore limited outdoors to tropical, sub-tropical and the warmer parts of warm temperate climates (such as the coastal plain of the southeastern United States (USDA zones 8b – 11), parts of California, southern Arizona, southern Texas, and Hawaii). Potted plants are brought into a greenhouse, conservatory, or indoors as a houseplant during the winter periods in regions with cooler climates.
In cultivation within the United Kingdom, this plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017).
The fruits are sour and are often used for preserves or cooking. The calamansi bears a small citrus fruit that is used to flavor foods and drinks. Despite its outer appearance and its aroma, the taste of the fruit itself is quite sour, although the peel is sweet. Calamansi marmalade can be made in the same way as orange marmalade. Like other citrus fruits, the calamansi is high in vitamin C.
The fruit can be frozen whole and used as ice cubes in beverages such as tea, soft drinks, water, and cocktails. The juice can be used in place of that of the common Persian lime (also called Bearss lime). The juice is extracted by crushing the whole fruit, and makes a flavorful drink similar to lemonade. A liqueur can be made from the whole fruits, in combination with vodka and sugar.
In Filipino cuisines, the juice is used to marinate and season fish, fowl and pork. It is very commonly used as a condiment in dishes like pancit or lugaw, or in the basic sawsawan (dip) of calamansi juice and soy sauce/fish sauce used for fish, spring rolls, dumplings and various savoury dishes. It is also used in various beverages, notably as calamansi juice, a Filipino drink similar to lemonade.
The fruit is used in local recipes in northern Indonesia, especially around the North Sulawesi region. Fish are spritzed and marinated with the juice prior to cooking to eliminate the “fishy” smell. Kuah asam (“sour soup”) is a regional clear fish broth made with calamansi juice.
In Florida, the fruit is used in its fully ripe form with a more mature flavor profile than the unripe version. Tasters note elements of apricot, tangerine, lemon, pineapple and guava. The peel is so thin that each fruit must be hand snipped from the tree to avoid tearing. The entire fruit minus the stems and seeds can be used. It is hand processed and pureed or juiced and used in various products such as calamondin cake, coulis, marmalade, and jam. The peels can be dehydrated and used as gourmet flavoring with salt and sugar. The fruit was popular with Florida cooks in cake form from the 1920s to 1950s.
Floridians who have a calamansi in the yard often use the juice in a summer variation of lemonade or limeade, as mentioned above, and, left a bit sour, it cuts thirst with the distinctive flavor; also it can be used on fish and seafood, or wherever any other sour citrus would be used.
Health Benefits of Calamansi:
1] Calamansi Juice Helps you Lose Weight
2] Calamansi Juice Balances Cholesterol Levels
3] Calamansi Juice Boosts your Immune System
4] Calamansi Juice helps stops Body Odor
5] Calamansi Juice improves Oral Hygiene
6] Calamansi Juice Aids in Controlling Diabetes
7] Calamansi Juice increases Collagen Production
8] Calamansi Juice Detoxifies you Body
9] Calamansi Juice as Efficient Bleaching Agent
10] Calamansi Juice is useful for you Respiratory Health
- Boosts collagen production:
Calamansi is packed with vitamin C. This vitamin boosts collagen production in the body and strengthens the immune system.
Calamansi juice is also a beauty tonic. This juice, when applied topically, can even out the skin tone and rejuvenates the skin. It also helps heal wounds.
- Prevents oral problems:
You can use calamansi juice as a mouthwash. Vitamin C from this juice helps prevent tooth decay, bleeding gums, gingivitis, or loosening of teeth. It helps remove stains and plaque.
- Keeps kidneys healthy and regulates bowel movements:
Calamansi juice, when taken regularly, keeps the kidneys healthy. It reduces foul urine odor and lightens its color.
Regular intake of the juice purifies the organs and detoxifies the colon. It improves bowel movement and relieves constipation.
- Strengthens the immune system:
Calamansi has good amounts of minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C which is essential to building immunity. It provides immunity against viral and bacterial infections. Drinking this juice on a regular basis helps build immunity against the common cold, flu, and fever.
- May help in weight loss:
This juice is a low-calorie drink that may help in weight loss. Drinking a glass of this juice before meals may prevent overeating. It also helps get rid of stored fats and lowers cholesterol in the body.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.