In Season: The Kumquat

Kumquats are nature’s Sour Patch Kids. These cherry tomato-size fruits have sour, bitter rinds and sweet juice on the inside. When you first pop the whole fruit into your mouth your face will contort into a grimace. But then, the sweetness of the citrus overcomes you, and suddenly you’ve devoured a whole basket.

**All About Kumquats**

In Season: Kumquats

When to Buy: I first discovered this magical fruit in a grocery store over the summer when I was living in upstate New York. Much to my delight, however, in October I realized that a tree in my backyard in New Orleans was dotted with small, green, citrusy fruit. Now the fruits are bright orange and ready for pickin’! Technically, the season begins in January and lasts through April, but you’re likely to find these fruits in larger grocery stores all year.

What to Buy: Choose kumquats that are firm, plump, and bright orange. Watch out for shriveled skin or blemishes.

Prep & Storage: This fruit can be stored in open air on the countertop for few days. Otherwise, they can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

How to Cook: Kumquats are so unique that they are best enjoyed raw. They’re also delicious candied – combine equal amounts sugar and water with kumquats and boil. They make a delicious jam or marmalade. Kumquat chutney is a also a lovely addition to any savory dishes. Or, toss a few chopped fruits into a bitter salad for a touch of sweetness. They can even be used as a natural centerpiece.

Recipe Box: Check out my favorite kumquat recipes!

Candied Kumquats
You can substitute the sugar for 3/4 cup local honey for a truly seasonal delight.

Kumquat Marmalade
A simple recipe for marmalade, plus a delicious way to enjoy the spread. This would make an excellent gift for your favorite gourmand!

Kumquat Poppy Seed Scones
A lovely vegan idea from my exotic (ha) homeland – Fairfield County, Connecticut! But seriously, who doesn’t love a good scone?

Kumquat Mojitos
A chef friend of mine won a recipe competition for his killer kumquat mojito, but he refuses to share his top secret recipe. This will have to do!

Grapefruit, Avocado, and Kumquat Salad
This colorful salad is the perfect antidote to the winter blues. Plus, all that citrus fights scurvy!

Suzannah Schneider used to hate citrus, but now she’s warming up to grapefruits, kumquats, and satsumas. However, she has no idea how to peel such fruits, and most citrus adventures result in juice everywhere.

Originally posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

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