Unlike Japanese yuzu, whose awareness has grown globally in recent years, the humble calamansi (Philippine lime) has not yet achieved such international recognition despite being an integral ingredient in Filipino cuisine, especially revered by the Filipino global diaspora. With Filipinos being the ﬁfth largest overseas-born migrant population in the country, the momentum is now, and Australia has been invited to their table.
Taking the lead is a new generation of enterprising Filipina-Australians working together to bring Filipino cuisine, culture, and community to Australians through The Calamansi Story. Spearheaded by cultural advocacy collective, The Entree.Pinays co-founders, Fides Mae Santos and Grace Guinto, The Calamansi Story aims to bring awareness to the valuable contributions of Filipino migrants, especially in the domain of food, and educate Australians on the possibilities of Filipino produce.
Coming to fruition in April 2023, as part of their Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is their hallmark event called ‘Seafood, Stars and Stories at Seafarers’. The last weekend of the Festival on 1-2 April will see three years of cultural advocacy culminate in the ﬁrst public launch of three unique elements of this community-ﬁrst legacy project.
The ﬁrst element is a short documentary on The Calamansi Story. Filmed in the Philippines and Victoria, the ﬁlm is co-produced with one of the Philippines best digital storytellers, Erwan Heussaff of Featr Media. It will be screened in a special presentation with the Centre for Projection Art inside the Norla Dome at Mission to Seafarers Victoria.
The second element is a ﬁrst-of-its-kind publication titled The Calamansi Story: Filipino Migrants in Australia featuring a curated collection of original works of essays, stories, recipes, art, and music. Many contributors will be published for the ﬁrst time, alongside three new songs exclusively reproduced from renowned First Nations-Filipino artist, Mojo Ruiz De Luzuriaga’s fourth album, Oro, Plata, Mata, due for release on 24 March.
Lastly, the new Calamansi Cider Crush, made in the heart of regional Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, features a unique blend of Philippine lime, and Victorian DV cider. This beverage celebrates local ﬂavours, storytelling, and innovation – and will be available for order on merkado-market.com.
Fides Mae Santos, co-founder of The Entree.Pinays shares, “We are proud immigrant daughters born in the Philippines, and bred in the western suburbs of Melbourne. From where we came, to where we are, we are no longer waiting for a seat at the table, we’re building our own table for our cuisine, culture, and community and we’re inviting Australia to join us.”
“The Calamansi Story epitomises what’s possible when purpose, place, people and passion connect and thrive. From our motherland to our adopted country Australia, The Calamansi Story is our call to action for the sustainable future of calamansi, and fair trade for Philippine farmers and communities to move #ﬁlipinofoodforward.”
As the Philippines is one of the largest exporters of calamansi globally for its superior quality, The Calamansi Story will invest in social enterprise programs supporting Philippine calamansi farmers through sales of the limited edition book publication available on merkado-market.com from 1 April. An online publication will also be accessible in May.
The Seafood, Stars and Stories at Seafarers Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event will take place on 1-2 April. For more information or tickets please visit: https://www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au/program/seafood-stars-and-stories-at-seafarers- 8184
For more information on The Calamansi Story please visit https://www.thecalamansistory.com/calamansi