The kumquat originally came from China. Some historical references indicate that it appeared in some Imperial literature from the 12th century. Therefore, you can find kumquats in parts of East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. But, this juicy fruit can also be found in some warm climate areas of the United States. So, next time you are passing through the sunny cities of Florida and California, be sure to taste kumquat.
The kumquats are merged into the same family as oranges, lemons, mandarins, and grapefruits. There are four kumquat species:
- Nagami or oval kumquat
- Marumi or round kumquat
- Meiwa or large round kumquat
- Mame or Hong Kong kumquat
In Western countries, the most famous is the oval kumquat.
How to eat kumquat
Eating kumquats is pretty easy, but there are some things to consider when you want to munch these healthy fruits.
- Be sure to choose ripe kumquats. The ripe color ranges from bright to yellow-orange. But, don’t eat kumquats that are greenish and unripe. Ripe skin should be nice, firm, and free of shriveled spots.
- Wash and dry kumquats thoroughly. Always be sure to clean your kumquats before eating them. Since their peel is edible, you need to remove any pesticides or dirt from the surface. Use some paper towels to dry the fruit. You can also take out the seeds if you don’t like eating them, but they are safe to consume.
- Eat the kumquats. You can eat them whole. But, if you don’t like to consume them that way, you can munch just the inside part of kumquats. Depending on species, some kumquats are less sour than others. If you are not a sour taste lover, try to squeeze the juice and eat just the peel and remaining fruit flesh.
What does a kumquat taste like?
When it comes to kumquats taste, it’s a bit sweet, but the flavor is considered sour. So, if you love making marmalades, even some liqueurs and cocktails, kumquats can be a great choice.
Kumquat recipe combinations
A good thing is that kumquats can be easily incorporated into daily meals. So, if you like to experiment with new food flavors, this exotic fruit may be the just-right choice. Besides eating them alone, check out a shortlist of some food ideas in which you can add kumquats.
- Marmalade, jam, or jelly
- Sliced in tuna salad
- Baked into cakes and bread
- Ice cream
- Roasted pork addition
- Garnish for cakes and some cocktails
Kumquat health benefits
Like all fruits, kumquats are believed to have some health benefits. Although more precise research is needed, there are some scientific hints that kumquat can be a really good addition to a healthy diet.
- Good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- Lowering blood fat and sugar
- Reducing digestive problems
- Improving bone health
- May be good in cancer prevention
- May provide immune system support
You should eat kumquats because are rich in vitamin C, like all citrus fruits. But, take a look at more detailed kumquat nutrition facts.
A 100g (about 5 whole kumquats) contain:
- Calories: 71
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 6.5 grams
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 73% of the RDI
- Calcium: 6% of the RDI
- Manganese: 7% of the RDI
Besides these nutrients, kumquats also have smaller amounts of B vitamin group, E vitamin, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zinc. The edible kumquat seeds and peel can provide you with a small amount of some omega-3 fats.
They are also full of water, about 80% of their weight has water in them. Therefore, they are very hydrating.
Kumquats are considered a filling food, as they are high in water and fiber, but they are low in calories. So, if you’re on a weight loss diet, the kumquats can be a great snack to eat.
Where to buy kumquats
Kumquats are becoming very popular, but it is still very common to have a hard time finding them in your local supermarket. It’s good to know that you can buy them from online retailers.
How to store kumquats
Kumquats can stand cold weather pretty well, but it’s better to take them inside once the chilly weather comes. They mostly ripen between November and April.
Shelf life of kumquats is very short, unlike other citrus fruits. So, if you’re not going to eat kumquats in 2-3 days, you should refrigerate them.
Kumquats are really great citrus fruits. They are nutritious, healthy, and very easy to consume. When picking your new sour fruit favorites, be sure to choose ripe ones, without peel blemishes, and always wash them well before eating.
If you don’t like the peel, you can eat just the insides of kumquat. To lower the sour taste, try squeezing the juice out of kumquats a bit.
Although, these fruits are considered healthy, don’t overeat, consume kumquats in moderation, as a daily snack or nice add-on to your meals.