Almost three years ago, we spent a weekend in Tagaytay and came home with several grafted fruit trees — lime, kalamansi, avocado, ponkan… Both the lime and the kalamansi had been bearing fruits but they’re kinda temperamental. The simply refuse to do their job on a regular basis or, at the very least, a predictable schedule. I have yet to see a fruit of the avocado tree. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about plants, it is this — I can never rush them. I have to allow them to grow and bloom at their pleasure. And they seem to take on a mocking attitude when I check at their progress too often. The best thing to do, really, is to let them be and let them just surprise me.
Yesterday, at around two o’clock, it started to drizzle. I ran to the garden to bring the laundry in. But something else caught my eye. Bright tiny orange globes among the greens. Could they be overripe kalamansi? As I pulled two comforters off the clothesline and brought them into the house, I kept wondering. I went back to the garden to retrieve more clothes but the drizzling had abated. I went straight to the tiny orange globes. I plucked one, peeled off the skin, inspected the inside and… lo and behold! Ponkan!
They’re rather small — just a bit larger than a large kalamansi.
It appears that Ponkan is not an orange (which is a hybrid) but a tangerine (Citrus tangerina). I can’t get more scientific than that even if I wanted to. I only know that, botanically, there is a difference between an orange and a tangerine although most orange-colored citrus fruits are often generically referred to as oranges.
If you look closely at the fruit in the photo, there are still green spots on the skin which makes me think that it isn’t fully ripe yet. But I was curious so I tasted the one I plucked off the garden.
I took one segment and bit it. It tasted exactly like an unripe ponkan — a bit sour but definitely not as sour as the most ripe kalamansi. The fruit is also very juicy (what I did with the juice is the subject of the next post).
Good thing that I left alone two fruits in the tree. I will check them again in two days or so and see if the greenish spots on the skins have disappeared. Then, I’ll take another fruit and taste it again.