Spotlight On. . . Kumquats!

The other day in Whole Foods, my eye spied one of my most favorite, hard-to-find, seasonal fruits ever– the tiny, but mighty kumquat!  Sold in containers similar to strawberries or raspberries, I was quick to snatch up a carton of those juicy nuggets of citrusy goodness!

For those of you who are unfamiliar, kumquats resemble itty-bitty oranges, and while there is not one-hundred percent agreement kumquats are in the citrus family, the majority of  botanists do agree these are citrus fruits. A little history for you (since I am a history teacher, you know):  kumquats originate from China, and they are a Chinese symbol of prosperity.  Eventually the kumquat made its way to Europe and the United States, and there are only a handful of kumquat varieties that grow today, the most common being the Nagami kumquat, which is likely what you will find in your average grocery store.

Moving on (history is cool and all, but what about the flavor?), kumquats are absolutely mouth-watering, in a practically literal sense!  The kumquat is meant to just be popped in your mouth, rind and all, and the slighty bittersweet rind serves as a nice foil to the sour flesh.  If you are a fan of sweet and sour fruits, like pineapples and mangos, I think you just may love the kumquat!

As you can imagine, kumquats of course serve as excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber.  Nine kumquats will provide you with ninety calories, nine grams of fiber, three grams of protein, and one-hundred percent of your Vitamin C needs.  For such a sour-patch-kid-candy-tasting-like fruit, that’s not bad at all!  (Source)

In terms of use, honestly, I have never eaten a kumquat any other way but whole, tossed in my mouth like an olive or grape.  However, I bet there are tons of uses for the humble kumquat, such as turned into marmalades, jams and jellies, in salads, or even candied, like you would do to ginger.  Oh, a candied kumquat– yes please– especially if it’s on top of a cheesecake!


If you see a package of kumquats, please, give them a go.  They’re a fun seasonal fruit that hopefully will bring you some prosperity if eaten!  My favorite way to enjoy the kumquat is sparingly– I only eat one or two at a time along with other fruits so I can make the carton last as long as humanly possible!

Have you ever tried a kumquat?  If so, what did you think?

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