Kumquat

Kumquat

Like all citrus fruits, the kumquat originated in China. The name comes from the Cantonese kam kwat, meaning "golden orange". It was already cultivated there in the 12th century, certainly well before it reached Japan, India, Malaysia, and Kashmir.

Like the other citrus fruits, it definitely took to the road through the Middle East via the Silk Road, or through Arab explorations.

 Kumquats were taken to Europe by an English botanist, a great traveler for the Royal Horticulture Society located in Chiswick. At first it was thought to be a variety of lemon. However, recent research from 1998 showed that it was a particular species of citrus.

Kumquats were later brought to the Americas. 

A good kumquat has shiny skin without black marks. The fruit should give a little when pressed with a finger. The riper the fruit, the less acid it tastes.

Kumquats are sold fresh or candied.

Kumquats should always be washed before use. It is a good idea to blanch them in order to soften them.

They can be eaten raw in a salad, marinated, used in forcemeat or in chutney, in marmalade, compotes, etc. They can also be preserved in alcohol, and candied. 

Kumquats should always be washed before use. It is a good idea to blanch them in order to soften them.

They can be eaten raw in a salad, marinated, used in forcemeat or in chutney, in marmalade, compotes, etc. They can also be preserved in alcohol, and candied. 

They are stored in ambient conditions or in the refrigerator, depending on their degree of ripeness. 

Kumquats have all the qualities of citrus: they are high in vitamin C, carotenoids, and other antioxidants. But they provide more fiber because the skin is eaten.

There are different species of kumquat, producing rounded or elongated fruit.

It is grown on a small scale in France (Corsica and Provence), and is cultivated in Africa, the Americas, Israel, and Réunion. It is available November through March.

The limequat is a hybrid produced by crossing a lime with a kumquat. The small round or oval fruit are green and turn yellow when ripe. More fragrant when green, they are more acid when yellow.

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