This fruit is a delightful combination of a mandarin and a kumquat, but is more similar to a kumquat in that the entire fruit is edible, including the rind. Although larger than a typical kumquat (about twice the size), the mandarin quat is usually small to medium in size with an orange colored rind and a teardrop shape with a slightly tapered neck. The sweet peel along with the tart flesh creates a unique flavor combination, much like a kumquat. Originally grown in Indio, CA, mandarin quats are a great source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, much like other citrus fruits. The mandarin quat season is from winter to early spring.
Ripening and Storage:
These 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.
Like a kumquat, these are best eaten whole, for a sweet-tart balance. Rubbing the fruit between your palms will also bring out the oils in the fruit's skin which offsets the tartness of the inside when consumed whole.
Eat these whole as-is, or use in a variety of sweet and savory preparations. Mandarin quats are delicious when sliced and served over toast with mascarpone cheese or avocado, preserved into jam, added to salads, marinades, cocktails, baked goods, and anywhere else a sweet-tart flavor is desired.