This tiny juicy fruit should be considered an over achiever. Not only is the tree invaluable as an ornamental treasure, the fruit is also extremely versatile. The small fruit is only about 1” in diameter and resembles a small mandarin with tender pulp which is sweet but very acidic. The peel is thin and smooth with orange colored flesh. The juice of the calamondin can be used like lemons or limes to make refreshing beverages, to flavor fish, to make cakes, marmalades, pies, preserves, and sauces. Freeze the juice in ice cube trays to make a refreshing calamondinade! This versatile fruit is also known as a Panama Orange, a Scarlet lime or a Golden lime.
The limequat is just what its name says – a cross between a lime (Mexican or West Indian) and a kumquat giving you the shape of a kumquat with the flavor of a lime! The small light yellow oval fruit has a smooth thin rind that is sweet and edible. Inside you will find flesh that is light green to yellow, juicy with a lime flavor and small edible seeds. Limequats can be used as a substitute for lemons and limes, use them whole, juiced, or sliced. Sliced they make an attractive edible garnish for desserts. Substitute the limequat juice for lemon or lime juice. Preserve them in syrup or brandy or pickle them whole. Enhance relishes for meats and poultry or add a refreshing zest to breads, salads, and steamed vegetables. Ideal additions to cocktails and coolers. Limequats can even be eaten whole.
This tear-drop beautiful bright orange fruit is just the first of its many outstanding features. This mandainquat is a cross, as the name implies, between a mandarin and a kumquat. The size is much larger than a typical kumquat, and the tear-drop shaped fruit has a distinct neck. The sweet peel is thin and can be eaten along with the tart flesh for a delightfully good flavor combination. Makes a good marmalade, squeeze for a flavorful juice or slice into quarters to use as garnishments.
Don’t be afraid of this special variety, they are a very versatile fruit. Bergamots are very juicy and acidic with few seeds; they can be used to add new nuances to any recipe that calls for sour orange or lemon juice. The rind oil of Bergamots has a unique aroma and is beautifully perfumed, making it an important component of the tea and perfume industries. Commercially Italy grows the majority of the world’s Bergamot supply, but we have had good success in California by planting them on warm sun soaked southern slopes.