Calamansi : Nectar of the Gods?

nomsiPICIs it a lime?  Is it an orange?  No, it’s calamansi!  It’s a citrus fruit that is native to the Philippines but is believed to have originated from China and has spread throughout Asia, Hawaii, the West Indies and Central and North America.

Calamansi has many medicinal and culinary uses. Available year-round, this key lime-like fruit –whose size is about the diameter of the U.S. quarter coin — is a popular flavoring agent in Philippine dishes like noodles, soups and sauces. It also makes for a refreshing hot or cold juice drink.

The Walnut Creek-based Pacific Fruit & Beverage Company (California)  has embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign to promote its calamansi-based products under the label, “Nomsi.”

Nomsi comes in 16-oz plastic bottles, much like the popular Gatorade juice drinks.  Nomsi has three refreshing flavors: calamansi, sweetened with cane sugar and honey; calamansi , infused with real mango;  and calamansi , infused with real raspberries.  Do I foresee Nomsi’s future with blueberries and coconut, to completely mimic the colors of the Philippine flag?

When I was growing up in the Philippines, I used to join singing competitions in radio, television and school. My vocal coaches always cautioned me against drinking cold beverages before the competitions.  Instead, I was encouraged to drink hot calamansi  juice, freshly-squeezed from the fruits which grew in our home backyard garden.  As far as I know, the calamansi  worked very well in clearing my throat and keeping my vocal chords in top shape!

I can’t grow calamansi fruit in my San Jose patio and I have to drive quite a few miles to procure the fruit from the nearest Asian grocery store.  So having calamansi  in a bottle is such a welcome luxury, not to mention a healthier alternative to sodas and other thirst-quenchers.

Nomsi’s nutrition labels  indicate that a serving of the juice fulfills 100% of Vitamin C requirements (Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet).

I love all three Nomsi flavors, but if I were to pick one, the calamansi sweetened with cane sugar and honey gets the gold medal!  Perhaps it is my nostalgia towards those many years growing up in the Philippines with this super fruit!

Click  HERE to learn more about NOMSI.


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