There’s a produce vendor at my local farmers market that I’ve become friendly with and one day I asked if he could get calamansi for me. None of the other vendors had it, but being a kababayan I had a feeling he’d be able to find some for me. He promised that he’d have some the following week and true to his word, he had a few pounds of freshly picked calamansi.
The calamansi is a small tart fruit that Filipinos use in many dishes. Healthy trees bear fruit all year long; it’s typically squeezed onto pancit or sisig, but it can be used in a variety of ways. It’s used in my favorite dessert these days, mango empanadas, and after I had made my latest batch, I had plenty of calamansi left over.
There was only one thing to do with all of that fruit, of course: juice it. My parents made this throughout my childhood, a cure for whatever illness my brothers or I had. My dad liked to serve it hot and it did seem to have magical healing powers, but I prefer the ice cold version. With the weather jumping back to the 80s, the juice on the rocks is my preferred way to keep cool.
For anyone who can find some of this delicious fruit, here’s a simple recipe for calamansi juice.