Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Polyhouse 7 is a cheerful place in the winter...if you come in the back way, you enter under this Calamondin standard, x Citrofortunella

Since learning that a Lime tree may not be doable in the Florida garden, I have become more and more interested in Calamondins. I've know this plant all my life but had considered it to be just an interesting ornamental easily flowered and reliably fruited (often heavily) as a houseplant. All you needed was a south window with or possibly without summering outside. Conventional wisdom seemed to be that the fruits were too sour to be of much use, and I never questions it. At Behnke's we used to always make an effort to have a good supply for the Chinese New Year....often we sold several hundred in the weeks preceding.Possibly I should have gotten a clue, but no.

After a little research, I now know that the rest of the world considers this an extremely useful and tasty fruit. It is juiced, cooked into marmalade's and chutneys, added to drinks for flavor, eaten whole, and used for a variety of medicinal purposes. I suspect that the Lime I planted this summer in Florida, that looked so good at Christmas is now black and dead, a victim of  two nights of sub 20F temperatures. Later this year, I'll plant a Calamondin as a replacement, and happily anticipate future explorations of its gastronomic potential.

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