Seasonal Fruit Friday: The Kumquat

Picking

Kumquats should be ripe when they are picked from the tree, so if you see one that is slightly green or bruised, don’t pick it! Only get the ones that are bright orange, firm, and smooth, and even ones with the leaves on them. The reason for this is because you don’t want to end up with a fruit that isn’t fully developed. The taste will not be the same and more importantly it won’t have all the valuable nutrients. If you are not sure when is the best time to pick it, it is best to leave it to professionals or simply learn more about the fruit. The more information you learn about this special fruit the better for you.

Storing

You may store kumquats in room temperature for about 3-4 days, or inside the refrigerator for up to three weeks! If you have a surplus and want to freeze them for a few months, I would recommend making a puree first.

Preparing

The funniest thing about kumquats is that you can eat the whole thing: skin, baby seeds, and all! The skin is a little sour, but the inside is sweet, so be prepared. To lessen this effect, roll the kumquat on the counter under your palm or just between your fingers to mix the juices inside. Be adventurous!

You can eat them straight, or slice them thin for salads, garnishes, marmalades, etc. Just make sure you wash them well before eating since you are consuming the skin too.  If you need any more ideas, see the recipes below!

Kumquat Recipes

  • The KumquatKale with Caramelized Kumquats
  • Kumquat Garlic Chicken
  • Kumquat Marmalade with Brie Cheese
  • Kumquat Tart with Almond-Date Crust

Fun Kumquat Facts

  • 8 kumquats are only 100 calories, 24g carbs, 10g fiber, and 2g protein, and almost all of your vitamin C for the day!
  • They are also called “the little gems of the citrus family” but I call them “baby oranges.”
  • However, there are not even part of the citrus family at all but were given their own genus (“Fortunella”) in 1915. They’re that special.
  • There are two top varieties of kumquats in the United States: “Nagami” and the “Meiwa.” There are so many Nagami kumquats in Saint Joseph, Florida, that it was named the kumquat capital of Florida. People there have kumquats at every meal because there are so many.