Food & Drink

Calamansi: The Amazing Tiny Filipino Citrus Fruit

Written by Patrick

What is a Calamansi?

Calamansi Comparison

Caption:   Calamansi Comparison | Image Source

About the Calamansi Fruit

Calamansi (Citrus × microcarpa), also known as calamondin, or Philippine lime is a type of citrus fruit native to the Philippines.

They’re called Calamondin in the USA and rare and usually found only in Florida. 

Calamansi are green and sour when unripe and yellow and sweet when ripe.

Calamansi has a unique and intense flavor all its own.  When cut, a calamansi may look like an orange, but tastes much tangier like a lemon or lime.  They are tropical and aromatic. This fruit can be used just like you would lemon or lime. 

Seafood dipping sauce with Calamansi

Caption:   Seafood dipping sauce with Calamansi

Calamansi Fruit Used in Food & Drinks

Calamansi is commonly used in traditional Filipino cuisine.  Most often used on fish and seafood, it’s also used on fowl and pork.  The juice is used to marinade and baste grilled chicken, pork, and seafood.

Calamansi has many uses in cooking.  Squeeze on food or use as dipping sauces, marinades, flavoring for sorbet, jams, in tea, water, or my favorite, as a juice.

Calamansi juice is the Filipino version of lemonade and limeade. It cuts thirst with a distinctive flavor.  Strong and sour, it is very refreshing in the tropical Filipino climate and best served cold.

Calamansi may be tiny, but each Calamansi packs a citrusy punch that’s refreshing, tasty, high in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and electrolytes.

Calamansi Juice

Caption:   Calamansi Juice | Image Source

The Many Uses of Calamansi

The fruit’s rind can be used for making essential oils, pectin, biogas, marmalade, and herbal applications.

The pulp can be used in making jam, juice, bleaching agents, cosmetics, vinegar, powders, win, marinades, flavor enhancers, chasers, hair conditioners, deodorant, Vitamin C supplements, disinfectants, and deodorizers.

The plant’s leaves can be used in food flavoring, herbal medicine, compost materials, and pesticides.

Calamansi seeds can be used as planting materials, pectin, and as an ingredient in a jelly spread.

The plant’s stems and roots can even be used for decorative crafts, as firewood, and even for building fences!


Caption:   Calamansi Plant

Benefits of Calamansi

Besides tasting great, a refreshing juice, its use in cooking, and many other uses, Calamansi provides many benefits:

  • Balances Cholesterol Levels
  • Boosts Immunity
  • Increases Collagen Production
  • Lowers Acidity
  • Promotes Collagen Production
  • Controls Diabetes
  • Cures Cough & Phlegm
  • Aids in Weight Loss
  • Stops Body Odor
  • Improves Respiratory Health
  • Maintains Glucose Level
  • Detoxifies the Body
  • Improves Oral Hygiene
  • Bleaching Agent
  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Cures Colds & Fever
  • Acts as a Laxative that aids in Constipation
  • Strengthens teeth and bones
  • Improves Skin & Hair Conditions
  • Lowers Hypertension
  • Prevents Cataracts
  • Reduces Fatigue

The Philippines is the only major producer of calamansi fruit. 

The majority of the Philippines’ calamansi comes from the province of Oriental Mindoro — this could be because of their evenly distributed rainfall, as well as their loam soil. Their fruits reportedly have a thicker rind, stronger taste, and longer shelf-life than those from other regions like Batangas and Nueva Ecija.

Calamansi Seal

Caption:   Calamansi Seal | Image Source

My Favorite Calamansi Foods & Drinks 

I just love the distinctive flavor of calamansi. The following are my favorite calamansi foods and drinks. Each is a link to some of my favorite recipes.


Caption:   Calamansi

Popular Products that Contain Calamansi Fruit

Calamansi Fruit Juice

Mansi is a great tasting Calamansi juice. Fortunately, it’s available for purchase online … just click the link above to learn more about or purchase this product.

Calamansi Fruit Juice Extract

This is a great product to use in cooking foods and making drinks when fresh calamansi fruit is not available.

Papaya Calamansi Soap

This is a soap I often use while in the Philippines. It is enriched with Vitamins and Antioxidants, and 2 potent ingredients – Papaya, known to effectively whiten skins, and Calamansi, known to lighten stubborn dark spots. I like the long-lasting scent.

Video of a Calamansi Farm

READ MORE:  Calendar of Seasonal Fruits | Popular Tropical Fruits in the Philippines

About the Author


Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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  • Where can Calamansi trees be found in the USA? I saw a fish recipie using it and the guy grew it in his back yard. I am from South Florida but I now live in North Florida and would like to grow some.

    • Hi Robert, I think it is best to ask a Filipino you know. They might have information on how to get one. Maybe you can also try buying a ripe calamansi fruit (yellowish color) and try and plant the seeds. You can also find online Filipino store near you that can deliver. I hope that helps and thank you for the comment.

      • that will take you a couple of years before you can harvest a calamansi if you use seeds. best way is to graft a calamansi plant. so there.. now you’re only problem is where can you find one.