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Kumquats are the size of large olives. Photo courtesy White Flower Farm.
How can it be that we’ve never published a piece about the kumquat? Today’s tip remedies that oversight.
Native to China and now grown throughout Southeast Asia (plus the U.S. and elsewhere), the kumquat is a tiny citrus fruit that is entirely edible, skin and all. The orange flesh is juicy, acidic and tart (some varieties have are more tart than others). The skin is fragrant and sweet.
Kumquats grow on small trees or bushes. They looking like wee, oval oranges, the size and shape of a large olive.
The word “kumquat” comes from the Cantonese kin kü, meaning golden orange. The earliest historical reference appears in China in the 12th century.
The tiny fruits were introduced to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune, a collector for the London Horticultural Society. Not long after, they arrived in North America, and found a happy growing ground in Florida.
HOW TO SERVE KUMQUATS
People who have never tried kumquats may look at them in the produce aisle, wondering what to do with them. As a citrus fruit, they work wherever other citrus fruits are employed. You don’t peel them or juice them, but serve them halved, sliced or whole. Some opportunities:
Braised, with fish or poultry
Breakfast breads and muffins
Cakes, cookies, pies, frostings
Fruit salads (sliced)
Garnishes/decorations, including cocktail garnishes
Green salads (sliced)
Ice cubes, whole, haved or sliced
Tea, hot or iced (sliced)
Here are dozens of kumquat recipes from Kumquat Growers of Florida—from kumquat ice cream to kumquat tea to kumquat cranberry relish.
Field Salad With Kumquats And Strawberries (recipe)
Limoncello-Kumquat Cocktail (recipe)
Pernod Fruit Salad (recipe)
Kumquat recipes from THE NIBBLE:
A final idea: halved kumquats, topped with cream cheese and pepper jelly, as an hors d’oeuvre or tea time snack.
BUYING & STORING KUMQUATS
Look for firm, blemish-free fruit with a fresh scent. Avoid kumquats with green skins—they aren’t ripe and won’t ripen off the vine.
You can refrigerate kumquats whole for up to one month, in a plastic storage bag. Freezing is not recommended.
Use kumquats in cocktails or as a garnish. Photo courtesy Limonce Limoncello.
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