Dalandan. Tangy, tasty and refreshing, dalandan juice must be one of my all-time favorite citrus juices. There are four categories of sweet oranges – Navel, Blonde, Blood and Late oranges. Dalandan or kahel oranges as they are locally known, fall into the last category.
Originally from China, dalandans have adapted to local conditions and have developed a terrific flavor that is both acidic yet sweet. They are related to Valencia oranges; think Sunkist, albeit in a smaller and greener form. Fresh Dalandans have a bright and deep green skins, smell great, possess a natural shine and are firm to the touch. They have an obovate shape (look it up in a dictionary). They were at the market in abundance yesterday. Priced at just P15-20 a kilo, depending on size and vendor, they were a bargain. I purchased 3 kilos that are displayed in the Balinese offering vessel at right. A day or two later they will be perfect for juice or shakes.
Dalandan Juice. Pick your pitcher, preferably glass. Wash dalandan fruit well (I always wash citrus before squeezing — just because you don’t eat the skins doesn’t mean you want the gunk on it squeezed straight into your juice!). Slice the fruit in half, squeeze into the pitcher using a strainer. Add two or three parts of water for every part dalandan, adjusting to your personal preferences and taste. Add some sugar and stir it all up. Serve over lots of ice and for added zing throw in sliced dalandan, lemon, dayap and sprigs of fresh mint.