I've been on a mission as of late. I've been scouring Asian markets, inquiring over the phone to my grandmother, and tip-toeing through my mom's garden. I've been looking for a tree, a tree that is abundant in the Philippines yet elusive, at least to me, here in SoCal. I've been searching high and low for a Kalamansi tree.
The fruit of the Kalamansi tree resembles a tiny, miniature orange, yet produces a sour juice similar to that of a lime. A squeeze, a squirt, or a spritz of its nectar brightens up any dish - from pancit, to miki, to fish. I needed these mini spheres of sourness in my kitchen.
After my initial searches turned up fruitless (Ha!), I did the next logical thing, I Googled it. Google, I love you so! I found out that I could either order a Kalamansi tree online and have it delivered to me, or I could check out the nursery of my local hardware store. Now while the logistics of having a tree shipped to my doorstep intrigued me, I figured I would visit my hardware store first just to be sure.
I had very low expectations when I ventured out to the hardware store; I was fairly certain a Kalamansi tree had no business being there. A citrus tree indigenous to the Philippines sharing a nursery with ficus, ferns, and garden gnomes in a common hardware store?!! Pinoy, please!
Although I did see many a ficus, fern, and garden gnome, I was surprised to see a "citrus" section in the hardware nursery. A glimmer of hope.
There seemed to be endless rows of blood oranges and limes. But no Kalamansi. I was beginning to feel defeated, and then...
"Pssst!" I heard him say to me as I walked past.
"Pssssssst!" I heard the familiar call again.
And there he was, a lone Filipino hidden behind Meyer Lemons and Valencia Oranges. I had found the one and only Kalamansi tree in the nursery. Woohoo!
He was a little guy, and had no orange globes hanging from his limbs yet. But I quickly swiped him up, you know, in case there were other schizophrenic Filipinos there besides myself.
I took him home and gave him some water. That's me and him in the picture above (You are entranced by my legs and crotch! Obey me!).
I promptly named him Kal. Kaladocious Kalamansi IV. Yes, he is my first Kalamansi tree, but he's a dwarf, so I had to help his already self-defeating disposition by giving him an important-sounding name. Hopefully he'll get over his dwarf issues and start producing me some fruit. If he doesn't, I'll point and laugh at him and call him Webster.
The countdown begins! You're on the clock Kal, so start crankin out the Kalamansi!