Learn About Kumquats

Author: Chef Sydney

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What Are Kumquats?

A kumquat is a tree-grown fruit native to southeast Asia.  It is a bright orange-colored fruit, similar in size and shape to cherry tomatoes or grapes.  They look like an orange, only smaller and oblong.  Kumquats have smooth and shiny skins on the outside and softer, juicy flesh on the inside.  They have a fruity citrus smell.

What Does a Kumquat Taste Like?

Kumquats have a strong citrus taste with both a sweet and tangy tart flavor.  The peel is sweeter while the fruit inside is sour.

Learn About Kumquats

How Do You Eat Kumquats?

Kumquats can be eaten raw or cooked.  Their skin, fruit, and seeds are all edible.  To enhance the natural sweetness of the raw fruit, some people squeeze out the juice, which makes the fruit sour.  Common uses for kumquats include kumquat marmalade, jam, chutney, and preserves.  They are frequently candied on their own or with other citruses or spices.  Kumquats are sometimes substituted for other citrus fruits in recipes, like kumquat upside-down cake or in tarts.  While not frequently paired with savory dishes, kumquats may be made with chicken, salmon, and salads.

Where Can You Buy Kumquats?

You may not find kumquats in your local grocery store or even a large grocery store.  Kumquats are found at farmers markets and specialty food stores during their peak season, from November to March.

How Do You Store Kumquats?

Kumquats last longer if stored in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator, lasting up to a week.  They can also be stored in a cool, dry place.

Fun Facts About Kumquats

Kumquats have been used to help treat some medical ailments in certain cultures.

Did You Know?

While it looks and tastes like other citrus fruit, a kumquat is not technically a citrus!

Recipes Using Kumquats

Candied Kumquats

Candied kumquats taste delicious and require little time to make. Start by trimming and halving kumquats. Combine water, sugar, and a vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the kumquats and simmer. Next, remove the kumquats and vanilla bean, simmer the sauce until it thickens, then combine the kumquats and liquid.

Roasted Carrots with Kumquats

Jazz up your regular carrot side dish with kumquats. Slice baby carrots and kumquats in half. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread over a baking sheet. Bake until the carrots are fork tender. Top with fresh dill.

Kumquat Sauce

Create a savory sauce to accompany your next meal. Mix soy sauce, maple syrup, kumquats, rice wine vinegar, and minced garlic in a saucepan. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Serve over chicken, fish, or duck.

Kumquat Salsa

Make a bright, tasty salsa using kumquats. Cut kumquats into thin slices. Combine sliced kumquats, cilantro, minced garlic, red onions, a diced serrano chile, and olive oil in a bowl.

Kumquat Smoothie

Blend up a refreshing smoothie with fresh kumquats. Place kumquats, cherries, milk, vanilla yogurt, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.


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