Kalamansi: Aromatic Hybrid of Tangerine And Kumquat

Thanks to the art of breeding, new fruits bring variety to the fruit basket. One such hybrid is the Kalamansi, which scores with an intensive mix of different aromas.

Filipino Lemon: Kalamansi

When walking through the fruit department, there are always new breeds to be discovered that result from crossing species. This also includes the Kalamansi or Calamondin orange, which combines kumquat with tangerine. Also known as the “Lemon of the Philippines”, it is finding more and more followers. The appearance is similar to that of an undersized lime, although the rind of the kalamansi is softer, making it easy to enjoy the fruit unpeeled. There are small seeds in the yellow flesh of the fruit, which are best removed: This allows the mildly sour taste with the tart note to unfold particularly well. In Germany, the fruits that grow on trees in the Philippines are available in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian shops. You can also grow them yourself on small ornamental trees and harvest them from November. On the nutritional side, the Kalamansi scores particularly well with vitamin C, which supports the immune system, among other things. In winter, the fruit thus contributes to the defense against infection.

Drinks, spreads, and desserts with Kalamansi

Diluted with water, squid juice makes a wonderfully refreshing drink, and cocktails can also be refined with it. In creative cuisine, the juice is also used to flavor ice cream and creamy desserts, such as a delicious mousse. The aroma of the fruit can be combined well with ginger, passion fruit, and blood orange. Along with the juice and pulp, the grated peel is a wonderful ingredient in baking and cooking. Simply use them like lemon peel and use them to spice up your Christmas cookies, such as our Stollen Muffins. If calamondin oranges are too sour when raw, they can be processed into jam, jelly, syrup, or jam. Our jam recipes provide you with some ideas and tips.

More hybrids from the fruit department

In addition to the calamondin, it is worth discovering other new breeds on a stroll through the supermarket. Because apples, bananas, and oranges are all well and good, but in the long run a bit boring for the palate. Feel free to reach for unknown varieties and broaden your horizons of taste. Limquat, for example, combines lime and kumquat into a juicy, sour fruit. The cherimoya tastes like a mixture of pineapple, banana, and cinnamon, the rambutan is reminiscent of grapes and the durian is reminiscent of vanilla, walnuts, and onions: the proof of the pudding is in the eating!

What is the difference between tangerines, clementines, and kumquats?

Kumquats, tangerines, and clementines look and taste like citrus fruits. Kumquats are the smallest known citrus fruits and do not belong to the Citrus genus like tangerines, but to the Fortunella genus.

Within the group of mandarins there are three subgroups, all traded under the generic term mandarins, namely the pure clementine varieties, the hybrid varieties, and the satsuma varieties. In Germany, mandarins from the clementine and hybrid variety groups are usually traded. The opinion that clementines are higher quality, seedless, or sweeter than the hybrid varieties has become widely accepted. The form of this statement is incorrect.

Both clementines and hybrid varieties can have seeds. The content of seeds depends on whether there is cross-pollination with other mandarin varieties at the time of flowering. The taste also does not depend on whether it is pure clementines or hybrid mandarins. The taste is rather dependent on the acid and sugar ratio. This in turn depends on the time of harvest and of course on the specific properties of the varieties. There are very sweet varieties from the clementine group, such as Clementine Hernandina, and very sweet varieties from the hybrid variety group, such as Orri. All tangerines are eaten without the peel.

The situation is different with the small, egg-shaped kumquats. They are four to five centimeters long and their shell is fine and thin. Because it is usually untreated, the peel can be eaten without hesitation. However, the flavor of the peel is quite bitter, similar to orange peel. The pulp tastes sour-sweet, the taste of the fruit is reminiscent of essential oils.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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