The Visa Collector

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

Archives for Kalamansi Chronicles

2011 crop: Petals drop


The petals have fallen, and the fruits are now visible. Still too early to celebrate, but things are looking good for this year’s barbecue.

Jul 15, 2011

2011: Incoming crop


The first flowers for 2011 have opened. Looking forward to the summer harvest. The recent rains have been good for “Mansi”.

Jun 30, 2011

Kalamansi Chronicles: Dawn harvest


The barbecue opportunity I’d been waiting for ever since we got the Kalamansi plant finally came up: Christmas 2010. We were putting together a party at a friend’s place and my pork BBQ dish was requested. Ideally, the pork should have been marinaded a couple of days ahead of time. But I had just come back from a looooong two week trip involving three time zones, so my body clock was just totally out of whack. So I wasn’t able to do anything two nights before.

Thus in the wee hours of the 24th, I harvested whatever I could and got to work.

Only six fruits could be harvested and I had a lot of meat to prepare. So I took those, and added a couple of lemons for reinforcement.

Too bad it rained on Christmas. So we broiled the pork instead of grilling it.

Dec 26, 2010

Kalamansi Chronicles: First harvest


Finally twisted off my first two fruits today. I wanted to add a little more zing to my soy sauce marinade, and felt that the two lemons I already had in there needed help.

First of two The stem

It picked them tad bit young, but you couldn’t tell from the citrusy-aroma that came out when I opened it. Man I miss this fruit. Pardon the spots on the cutting board. Those were from the garlic cloves I minced earlier.

Nov 12, 2010

Kalamansi Chronicles: Growth


Three months into the project . . . so far so good.

At purchase As of October 19, 2010

Four of its branches are getting pretty long, almost begging to be trimmed. But I’m not risking it this close to winter. Its fruits continue to grow.

Oct 20, 2010

Kalamansi Chronicles: Moving on from flowers


The last flowers fell days ago, and fruits have taken their place. Now the race is on for the fruits to ripen before summer runs out. Looking forward to late summer/early autumn barbecues that won’t need lemons as Kalamansi substitutes.

Sep 18, 2010

Kalamansi Chronicles: Flowers and fruits


Our plant already had a fair number of flowers when we bought it. These are progressing very nicely, and are allowing us to share how a Kalamansi flower evolves into a fruit.

Step 1

Step 2


Aug 15, 2010

Kalamansi Chronicles


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.

Aug 7, 2010