Categories: FoodStory

Calamansi: Another Indonesia’s Culinary Heritage

4 years ago

Every country must have a culinary heritage that should be preserved from time to time as the identity of the people themselves. Culinary heritage symbolizes the cultural aspects of a nation as well as promotes traditional and regional cuisines. In Indonesia, a wide range of fruits, spices, and plants across the islands spread out abundantly. Some of them share the roots of other countries around Asia. It is no wonder that a few Asian countries have a similar taste or even recipes from the same ingredients. Among all, calamansi is one of the tropical fruits around Southeast Asia that Indonesia and the Philippines put into meals or crafted beverages. 

The origin of this family member of lime and lemon has not ceased to a precise finding. Globally, calamansi is known to complete the ingredients of an array of Filipino recipes. In Vietnamese popular dish, Pho, calamansi often appears to be the condiment aside the bowl. In our country, Indonesia, North Sulawesi region has stored some secret recipes using this citrus fruit. Sometimes it is just to be squeezed over seafood (fish particularly) in order to diminish the fishy smell. Usually, the juice of calamansi marinates the fish by boiling the clear fish broth. Kuah Asam (sour soup with fish broth) is the renowned dish from Sulawesi completed with calamansi.

Speaking of flavor, one may guess from its tangible form it is similar to mandarin orange or lime. In fact, it is both. Some culinary practitioners even often say calamansi is the hybrid of orange and lime. Inside the orange pulp exactly display how an orange should be. However, it is small and has green skin like lime. The flavor represents both as well, sweet and sour in one package of fruit. The sourness yet does not reach the point of a lime. Comparing with lime or lemon, calamansi has less acidity and keeps a hint of bitterness that is very well to balance a complex dish. A palate’s enhancer to help one touches every palatal area, having various flavors in one spoon or sip. Besides to diffuse citrusy aroma —adding more appetizing sense, the high vitamin c is also another reason why calamansi is popular to be included in a recipe. 

As Japanese Yuzu, calamansi is an ingredient trend from Indonesia. An extensive cooking alternative enlists calamansi to deliver the tantalizing menu. From dressing to meringue and cocktails, calamansi is a unique good pair to include. At BLANCO par Mandif, our chefs present calamansi in Yellow Fin Tuna. To produce a gastronomic menu in the fine dining restaurant, the fresh quality tuna is sided with gohu, a Manado’s pickles where calamansi creates the sour taste inside. Another menu here to use calamansi is Hotatei Scallop. The robust taste of the fresh and intense scallop meets papinyo (Maluku’s traditional pickles made of cucumber). The juice of calamansi is poured out in the papinyo, distributing a balanced yet elegant flavor when the scallop and papinyo is spooned together, blending in one’s mouth. In cocktails, crafted by the wizards of Ruang Tamu Bar, calamansi appears in El Chapo. To yield a citrusy, sour and savory hint in the refreshing cocktail, calamansi and lime twist the taste together with tequila as this cocktail’s base. Later kyuri and coriander perfect the long lingering taste and a whole distinctive profile of a cocktail is invented.