Any experience with Calamondin orange?
- Ruth Lafler
I was buying some dwarf citrus trees for my patio, and fell in love with this little bush with its pretty varigated leaves. The plant I bought has mature fruit, which really intrigue me. They're like tiny tangerines (about an inch in diameter), with an easy to peel skin and easily separable segments, but they taste more like a kumquat: an sweet, fragrant edible skin and tart interior (apparently they actually are a hybrid of those two fruits). To my mind they're a tiny bit sweeter than kumquats (which I love), but the other people at my BBQ didn't share my enthusiasm.
Anyone else grow them? Eat them? Cook with them?
I make marmalade/preserves from mine. Pit and slice leaving skin on, weigh and add an equal amount of sugar cook slowly until thick. Use sterile half pint jars and lids and seal. It will continue to set up in the jar from the natural pectin and the flavor when done this way is also reminiscent of Meyer Lemons. I have a Limequat which unfortunately never produced enough fruit at one time to do anything with other than squeeze in to a G&T but my Calamondin can be quite prolific and has done very well despite benign neglect and a very sunny spot in my kitchen all winter. It is time to harvest the crop now. Well maybe later in the week.
I'll bet the other people at the BBQ would be more enthusiastic if you made this drink from Slanted Door
Panama Orange Caipirinha - Calamondin orange muddled with cachaça and organic sugar, served on the rocks
I know you asked for someone who had experience with them and I never tried them. However, always on a lookout for something new, I googled to see if they were edible.
This site is pretty funny. The first paragraph says it is grown for looks rather than edibility and then goes on to list quite a few ways to eat the fruit.
They are only 12 calories each. It says the orange colored ones might be over ripe. Maybe that was the problem for some of the people at the BBQ.
It says they can be used like lemons and limes. Love the word calamondinade. I'd buy a glass of that if I saw it on a menu.
And if you get tired of the taste it makes a good hair conditioner, removes ink from clothing, can be used as a deodorant, removes the itch from insect bites, removes the freckles from your face, treats acne, etc.
The best sounding thing to me was boiling them with cranberries to make a sauce.
The Cook's Thesaurus gave the other names for this orange and substitutes:
"calamondin = calamondin orange = China orange = Panama orange Substitutes: kumquats (slightly smaller) OR kalamansi "
BTW, did you ever use that citron? The Cook's Thesaurus says that another name for citron is Yuzu. Who knew?
Sounds like a good purchase. They seem to be prolific. Will we see you at one of the local farmers markets selling any excess oranges ... or kumquat/orange marmelade?
I too have a couple of small trees that gave me a bunch of fruit late last fall. I used them in the following recipe and share it w/ my dearest friends after a nice spicy BBQ.
40 kumquats or calamondins or a combination of both
4 cups sugar
4 cups water
4 cups vodka
Wash fruit, cut in half and remove seeds. Boil the sugar and water for five minutes. Cool. Place the fruit in a large jar and pour the cooled sugar syrup and vodka over it. Seal the jar tightly and place on its side. Every day for 4 to 6 weeks, turn the jar and voila, brandy.
I find calamondin to be EXCELLENT substitutes for any recipe calling for sour oranges. Great for cuban marinades (mojo) marmelades, Spanish dishes, even a number of mexican dishes. Great stuff. Wherever you see sour orange recipes, just use your calamondins.
(Plus, if you keep the branches when you prune, they give off a nice aroma in your grill or smoker as you cook whatever you've marinated in your calamondin-based mojo).
Congrats on the purchase. It's a great fruit.