Calamansi Goes to NYC

From the Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine citrus calamansi has been introduced to mainstream America, bolstering hope that it will become a staple in kitchens across America.

The Philippine consulate general in New York said the entry of calamansi is expected to add a more distinct Filipino flavor to the diversity of the New York food scene.

New Yorkers were introduced to the refreshing new citrus flavor when the Philippine Calamansi Association (PCA), represented by Helen and Arnie del Rosario, hosted two events organized by 13 Degrees North, a marketing and events company, in cooperation with the Philippine Department of Agriculture, the consulate general and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center New York.

A food tasting and appreciation dinner was held last June 29 at a private dining room of the acclaimed and Michelin-rated Bouley restaurant on Duane Street in Manhattan.

The event featured a six-course culinary treat, each showcasing the versatility of calamansi.

It was attended by 28 guests, including Philippine Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. and his wife Eleanor, Philippine Rep. Juan Revilla and wife singer Janet Basco, Ralph Dean Christy of Cornell University, Philippine American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) president Michael Nierva, New York food writers and industry players.
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Chef David Bouley created culinary masterpieces for each course, an extraordinary feat given the fact he had never worked with calamansi before.

He opened with a tomato-calamansi gazpacho, followed by a sea urchin and oyster appetizer sprinkled with caviar in a green apple and calamansi cloud.

Scallops and Alaskan king crabs drizzled with a reduction of calamansi, saffron and pernod was served next, followed by monkfish cheeks and tails with cod in a dashi broth, in which Chef Bouley combined calamansi with black truffle.

The fourth course was guinea hen and foie gras infused with calamansi, followed by the intermezzo, a chilled coconut soup with a pineapple granite and amaretto ice cream, drizzled with calamansi oil.

Finally, dessert was a blood orange sorbet with a bit of lime, orange and calamansi nage.

Chef Bouley came out of the kitchen and mingled with the guests.

He exclaimed that calamansi was one of the greatest ingredients he has ever worked with and inquired how he could place an order of the citrus.

Consul General De Leon was delighted to hear this, and said, “Filipino food is really gaining attraction as an international culinary powerhouse.”

The evening ended with the PCA handing out gift bags to guests, filled with sample products from members of the association.