Kumquats are tiny, oblong shaped citrus fruits, not much bigger than a grape and usually no more than 2 inches long. This delightful little citrus fruit (though technically is classified under its own genus, fortunella) is a radical departure from all other citrus fruits for three reasons. The first reason is that this little bite-sized fruit fills your mouth with a big burst of sweet-tart citrus flavor. The second reason is the way you eat them: the entire fruit is eaten whole, skin, flesh, and seeds and all! And the third reason is that a kumquat is the complete opposite of most citrus fruit in that the edible peel is actually the sweetest part and the juicy flesh is sour. When eaten together, you get a distinctive sweet and tart taste which is unlike anything else. If you find that the kumquat is too tart for you, simply squeeze out the juice before eating. The only caveat is that if you're allergic to the peel of common citrus fruits, you may need to pass up kumquats. Kumquats are native to China and have high amounts of vitamin C and dietary fiber. The edible seeds and peel are high in omega-3s.
Ripening and Storage:
Kumquats are ready to eat when you receive them. They will keep for a few days at room temperature or you can refrigerate them in a plastic bag for up to a week or two.
The entire kumquat is edible so they can be eaten whole.
In addition to eating kumquats as-is, they are a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory preparations. They are great when used for marmalade, or added to baked goods. They can be sliced and added to salads or candied and used on top of desserts. Add sliced kumquats to cocktails for a unique flavor, and use kumquats in a tagine recipe.