Long before the world took an interest in calamansi juice, it was already a huge part of kitchens across East Asia. The highly versatile calamansi is a citrus hybrid native to the Philippines. Often likened to lemons, the small and mighty fruits bear more similarities to limes.
Like many locally grown produce, calamansi is relatively inexpensive. Though it is available year-round, its peak season is between August to October. Extracting juice from calamansi during the off-season requires squeezing double what you usually would. But why go through all that when there are many more benefits of calamansi juicein a bottle?
Here, learn why you need to start adding bottled juice from calamansi to your shopping list.
Why Calamansi Juice Should be a Kitchen Staple
Keeping bottled citrus juice or concentrate in the pantry is not common practice for Pinoys. Elsewhere, lemon juice in bottles is readily available for use. It’s about time this kitchen habit is adopted. Here are reasons why bottled calamansi concentrate should be a pantry staple.
Take advantage of the longer shelf life
Even when refrigerated, fruits ripen and rot. Bottled calamansi still expires but not as quickly as fresh calamansi does. Having the juice gives you access to the ingredient anytime you need it. Thanks to concentrates, you don't need to worry about the fruit being out of season.
Savor the convenience of bottled calamansi
Cut down the preparation time of recipes with a bottle of juice. With ready-to-use concentrate, cutting and squeezing fruit is unnecessary. All you need to do is open a bottle and take a spoonful or two to add to your dish. Once you're satisfied with the flavor, store the remainder for future use. Isn't that convenient?
Utilize this natural tenderizer
Acids in citruses tenderize meats naturally. Calamansi, with its high acid content, can break down fibers in the toughest meat cuts. Plus, it adds a layer of complexity to marinated meat.
Combine a few tablespoons of the bottled juice with liquid seasoning, garlic, pepper, and a bit of sugar for an all-around marinade. Make sure not to marinate your meat beyond one hour to keep it from turning too sour and mushy.
Create delicious desserts in a snap
The tartness of calamansi is a useful ingredient to counterbalance any form of sweetness. Think lemon meringue pie, key lime pie, lemon bars, and citrus-infused pound cakes. These recipes can be localized using bottled calamansi. You can even whip up a calamansi syrup and drizzle it over Selecta Super Thick Vanilla Ice Cream for a quick summer dessert.
Reduce the umayfactor in fatty dishes
Viands like pork adobo, humba, or beef nilaga tend to have fat that leaves a sebo aftertaste in the mouth. If you’re cooking any of these dishes, add a few drops of bottled calamansi to help cleanse the palate. Additionally, using calamansi in dipping sauces dissolves fat from ulam that coats the tongue.
Have a natural cold remedy at all times
Another calamansi juice benefit is its ability to help build immunity against the common cold and flu. Rich in vitamin C, a concoction made of calamansi concentrate, honey, and warm water can help relieve colds. It also aids digestion, promotes weight loss, and helps prevent tooth decay.
Prepare a safe kitchen disinfectant
It’s crucial to have food-safe cleaners when working in the kitchen. Avoid contamination and poisoning by using homemade disinfectants. A mixture of vinegar, water, baking soda, and calamansi in a spray bottle should do the trick.
Fresh Juice vs. Bottled Concentrate
Some people use the words “juice” and “concentrate” interchangeably. Here is what you need to know about the two.
Differentiating juice from concentrate
- In general, extract from fresh calamansi is referred to as “juice.” However, when purchasing bottled products, make sure you know the difference.
- Juice – Typically processed to include water and sweeteners. Bottled calamansi juice is usually for drinking.
Concentrate – 100% extracted juice from the calamansi fruit. Calamansi concentrate is potent; use it in countless cooking applications.
Which is better, fresh or bottled?
Neither is better than the other. It all boils down to personal preference. But for convenience, nothing compares to a bottle of calamansi. Studies suggest bottled calamansi is just as beneficial as freshly squeezed juice. The key is to always check the label. Go for brands that have little to no additives in them.
Calamansi juice has a refreshing taste that brightens up any dish or dessert. Never underestimate the power of the tiny lime because its tart flavor packs a mighty punch. It's great to have access to fresh fruit, but it is also practical to stock up on alternatives when you don't. Next time you go shopping, grab a bottle, and reap the benefits of your new pantry staple.