The Visa Collector

A blog about travelling with a Filipino passport, and life overseas

Kalamansi Chronicles

Posted by admin on August 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Last Sunday, I threw in the towel on a project that had been going on for three years now: My Kalamansi plant.

Kalamansi, also called Calamondin in North America, is a fairly common ingredient in Filipino cuisine. I use it very heavily in my marinades and my wife loves to dip all sorts of stuff in a mix of this fruit’s juice and soy sauce. Back in the day, it was my family’s preferred Vitamin C delivery medium. It was mixed with warm water and served to ill family members as a tonic.

Back when we were in Taiwan, we found that they sold Kalamansi in batches of 40. Very different from how things were done in the Philippines where they could be had by-fruit. The problem we had with this was spoilage. Since each fruit had such strong flavor, you really only needed at most two at a time when you prepared anything (I reckon one of these had the same “strength” as three or four lemons), we ended up throwing away most of whatever we bought. It didn’t feel right to waste money that way, so we only had them on special occasions.

Happily, things were different when we moved to California. Home Depot sold Kalamansi plants, and soon after moving to the US, we were happy owners of our own.

But alas, this plant did not last beyond two harvests. One hot day while we were away weakened the plant and it was never the same. Apparently, my plant had been grafted to another plant variety, and the dormant plant became dominant. The resulting Franken-plant is shown below.

Compare the size of those leaves with the ones when the plant was still healthy.

Shortly after the photos above, I ripped the plant out of the pot. The greenish branch low on the stem was where the dormant plant manifested itself.

With the pot now vacated, I put in a new plant. Thus begins . . . the Kalamansi Chronicles.

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