So it might be that lately I am a little, just a teeny, tiny bit, obsessed with calamondins which are also known as calamansi. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they are a relatively unknown local fruit. Truly, I feel like the fruit version of a modern day orchid hunter when I rediscover some hitherto unknown or fallen out of favour produce. Some of you might remember me getting a wee bit crazy over rumberries, and then again with purslane?
I have had my eye on this fruit for a couple of years and have been wanting to blog about it for the longest while.
Rather surprisingly, I did not find this in a some remote country district but in a suburb of the capital city where it was being grown as an ornamental by an elderly, Chinese, gentleman. The small tree is quite beautiful when laden down with orange fruit which are about the size of limes. They have an intense, fragrant smell-like Portugals (tangerines) but don't be fooled by the heady aroma. Bite into one and you will be in for a screwed up, sour faced surprise........ugh they are so very sour! Yet, if you know what to do with them, they can be utterly delightful.
Camalodins or calamansi are also known as Chinese oranges or golden limes. The fruit starts off green, then turns yellow and finally orange. It can be used when green since it is just as sour green as it is in its orange state. The fruit is thought to have originated in China and is most likely the result of a cross between a kumquat and a mandarin. It is grown here mainly as an ornamental but not much is done with the fruit outside of using it to season fish. It is quite popular in the Phillipines where it is used commercially in juices and marmalade.
Now can we talk about breakfast? More importantly, can we discuss how these darling, candied limes have turned my boring, healthy, yoghurt and oatmeal breakfasts into desserts?
Yum, I love the idea of dessert for breakfast, don't you?
1 lb calamansi
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Lay some waxed or parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup granulated sugar on the paper.
Slice calamansi into thin rounds and remove the seeds. Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir a few minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and syrupy.
Add the calamansi slices and cook until they are translucent. Drain the rinds and lay on the sugared, parchment paper to dry. Let dry overnight or a couple of days. Store in an airtight container.
WARNING: Usually I end a recipe with a cook's tip. This time around I think it more appropriate to end with a warning. I strongly advise that you do not under for any reason dip these in chocolate! Trust me on this. I am not to be held responsible if you ignore this warning and end up consuming a pound of chocolate covered calamansi in one sitting. Yeah, it.....uhmmmm......has been known to happen.....just saying.