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Kumquats / Cumquats – Miniature Citrus Fruits

Posted on: 3rd Apr 2008

cumquats small citrus fruits that can be eaten whole

The kumquats or cumquats are small citrus fruits, they resemble miniature oranges, 2–5 centimetres wide. Depending on variety, peel colour ranges from yellow to red. A Nagami kumquat has an oval shape, while a Marumi kumquat is round.

Kumquats are frequently eaten raw. As the rind is sweet and the juicy centre is sour, the raw fruit is usually consumed either whole, to savour the contrast, or only the rind is eaten. The fruit is considered ripe when it reaches a yellowish-orange stage, and has just shed the last tint of green.

miniature citrus fruits called cumquats

Culinary uses include: candying and kumquat preserves, marmalade, and jelly. Kumquats appear more commonly in the modern market as a martini garnish, replacing the classic olive. They can also be sliced and added to salads. A liqueur can also be made by macerating kumquats in vodka or other clear spirit.

The Cantonese often preserve kumquats in salt or sugar. A batch of the fruit is buried in dry salt inside a glass jar. Over time, all the juice from the fruit is extracted through dehydration into the salt. The fruit in the jar becomes shrunken, wrinkled, and dark brown in colour, and the salt combines with the juice to become a dark brown brine. A few salted kumquats with a few teaspoons of the brine/juice may be mixed with hot water to make a remedy for sore throats. A jar of such preserved kumquats can last several years and still keep taste.

kumquat macro image

In Taiwan, kumquats are a popular addition to both hot and iced tea.

In Vietnam, kumquat bonsai trees are used as a decoration for the New Year holiday.

Kumquats are cultivated in China, Taiwan, South-east Asia, Japan, Europe (Corfu, Greece), and the southern United States (Florida).

Some information source: Wikipedia.

Kumquat recipe ideas:

Kumquat & Vanilla Marmalade

Margot DOLEWSKA DYERMargot DOLEWSKA DYER is Brighton based blogger dedicated to crafts, recipes, reviews, food styling and photography. She is also behind 416 Studios specializing in web design & photo retouching. You can connect with her via Google+.

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  1. I tried kumquats once recently and couldn’t decide if I was a fan or not (the sour inside is, well, pretty sour!). I haven’t tried cooking anything with them yet, but the idea of having a jar of preserves/marmalade sounds like it could be a fun project…..also, nice close-up shot!

  2. I just bought a 5 pound bag of kumquats for $3.50 at a farm stand on Wed. I think I may start looking like a kumquat.

  3. I have never eaten one. I used to see them in the markets in Barcelona but I don’t ever see them here. I’ve always thought they looked good – but didn’t know what to do with it hahaha!

  4. [...] Coffee and Vanilla has a lovely post on Kumquats. [...]

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