A kumquat, or Citrus japonicas, is a small citrus, resembling an orange but much smaller, that is native to China. Its first known appearance in literature dates back to the 12th century. Kumquats are a symbol of luck and in Cantonese, Kumquat, literally means 'Golden Orange' or 'Golden Tangerine'. They are commonly given out during Chinese New Year to symbolize sharing the luck.
What Is Kumquat
Kumquat trees have been growing in Southeast Asia for centuries, making their way to the United States in the 1850s where they thrive in warmer climates of California and Florida.
The kumquat fruit is orange and entirely edible. Even though the skin resembles that of an orange, it is much softer. They are round or oval shaped depending on the species and roughly the size of an olive. Although, in warmer climates they can get a little bigger.
How To Tell If Kumquat Is Ripe
Kumquats are generally ripe when the entire skin is orange.
How To Prepare Kumquat
The entire fruit is edible, so you can simply give it a nice rinse with cold water and pop it in your mouth. It makes a wonderful snack with a lot of vitamin C. You can eat the seeds or remove them, it's totally up to you.
If you're not a fan of the rind, you can also cut the kumquat into quarters and suck the insides out and discard the rind.
They can also be sliced in half and used as a garnish on a salad or added to fruit salads or tossed into smoothies. Many people like to make marmalade out of kumquats as well.
Where Does Kumquat Grow
Kumquat trees like a warm climate and grow well in places like Florida and California. They have been cultivated throughout southeast Asia for centuries.
Nutrition Of Kumquat
Kumquats are an excellent source of Vitamin C. They are 80% water, which makes them incredibly hydrating. The water and fiber content make them a great and satisfying snack.
100 grams of kumquat contains:
- Calories: 71
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 6.5 grams or 23% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 73% of the RDI
- Calcium: 6% of the RDI
- Manganese: 7% of the RDI
When Is Kumquat In Season
Kumquats are sometimes referred to as the 'winter citrus' because you can typically find them fresh and in season from November to April. They are a perfect fresh fruit to help you get through the winter when other fruits aren't yet in season.
What Does Kumquat Go In
As well as eating kumquat on its own, it also goes great in smoothies, fruit salads, or as a garnish to beautify a plate and add a little zing.
If you are one who likes to prepare conserves, kumquats also make a wonderful marmalade.
What Does Kumquat Taste Like
Kumquat is a citrus. The peel is sweet while the flesh inside has a tart flavor somewhere between lime and lemon.
How To Store Kumquat
Kumquats do not ripen much once they have been picked. They do not last as long as other citrus and will begin to soften over time, making them less enjoyable. You can keep them on the counter for a few days but hold up well in a container in the fridge for another week or so.
You can freeze kumquats whole for a few months in a plastic bag or container. Some people like to cut the kumquats in half and remove the seeds prior to freezing, it's totally up to you.
Can Dogs Eat Kumquat
Kumquats are not toxic for dogs. They do contain a lot of magnesium, though, which can cause gastrointestinal issues for your furry friend. Moderation is the key.
The two most common varieties of kumquat are Nagami and Meiwa:
- Nagami Kumquat: The Nagami kumquat is the most common variety found in the United States. The fruit tends to be a bit more tart than that of the Meiwa and is oval-shaped.
- Meiwa Kumquat: The Meiwa kumquat is more typical to Japan and round in shape. They are also present in the United States, just not as common as the Meiwa.