Exploring the Zesty World of Kumquats


by Shari


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My neighbor grows these. It’s amazing to pick a ripe fruit off the tree.

But, um, kumquats are a tough one to fall in love with right away. They’re tiny – and they have seeds – and the citrus pulp inside is VERY SOUR!

However, the skin and the “pith” are sweet. So if you pop one in your mouth all at once, you get the sweet AND the sour.

Some people like that. Some people even like CANDY like that.

I do not. I’m all about SWEET fruits.

Where Do Kumquats Come From?

Kumquats are native to China and have been grown for centuries. The name “kumquat” is derived from the Cantonese word “gam gwat,” which means “golden orange.”

How Do You Eat Kumquats?

Pop them in your mouth! Spit out any seeds. Enjoy! Repeat often.

Side note: the seeds ARE edible, but I prefer not to eat them.

They have high water content, vitamin C, and fiber – so they’re good for you. Eat them for variety. Or eat them if you prefer sweet and sour – instead of just sweet like an orange.

My friend compared them to Lemon Heads – where there are both sweet and sour layers.

The beauty of a living foods, plant-based diet is trying a large variety of fruits and vegetables! You will never taste them all in your lifetime, but you’ll have so much fun hunting for new ones!

Are You Supposed to Eat the Peel of a Kumquat?

Yes – the skin is really thin and close to impossible to peel. The skin and the pith are sweet – so they help to offset the tartness of the citrus inside.


Are Kumquats Safe to Eat Raw?

Absolutely! That’s the best way to eat them! They absorb the water and sun and are bursting with Vitamin C and other nutrients – and then when you eat them, your body absorbs all their living goodness!

Of course, you can cook them if you have a recipe that calls for citrus – or if you’re afraid of farm or other germs. But in my humble opinion, raw is best!

Are Kumquats a Superfood?

Kumquat fruit has a low sugar content, making it a preferred fruit for diabetics who worry about glycemic load. They don’t increase blood sugar like other fruits – and the dietary fiber slows digestion and absorption.

And as mentioned above, they’re hydrating, full of nutrients, high in fiber, and delicious on a hot summer day!

Here are some non-boring facts about Kumquats

  1. Size and Appearance: Kumquats are small, oval-shaped fruits that measure around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in length. They resemble miniature oranges or oval-shaped lemons. The fruit’s skin is bright orange and has a slightly bumpy texture.
  1. Taste and Flavor: Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquats are unique because their peel is sweet while the flesh is tart. The skin is edible and provides a burst of sweet flavor, while the flesh is acidic and tangy. The combination of sweet and sour flavors gives kumquats a distinctive taste.
  1. Varieties: There are several varieties of kumquats, but the two most common types are Nagami and Marumi kumquats. Nagami kumquats are the most widely available variety and have an oblong shape. Marumi kumquats are rounder and sweeter.
  1. Nutritional Profile: Kumquats are low in calories but rich in vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and provide significant amounts of dietary fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium.
  1. Culinary Uses: Kumquats can be eaten fresh or used in various culinary preparations. Some popular uses include:
  • Fresh consumption: Kumquats can be eaten whole, including the skin, which provides a burst of sweetness followed by a tangy flavor.
  • Preserves and marmalades: The tartness of kumquats makes them ideal for making jams, jellies, and marmalades.
  • Baked goods and desserts: Kumquat zest and juice can be used in cakes, pies, tarts, and other desserts to add a tangy citrus flavor.
  • Salad garnish: Sliced kumquats can be used in salads, adding a bright and tangy element to the dish.
  1. Growing Conditions: Kumquats thrive in warm, subtropical climates and can be grown in containers and in-ground. They require well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Kumquat trees are small and compact, making them suitable for small gardens or indoor cultivation.
  1. Harvesting Season: Kumquats are typically harvested in the winter when they are fully ripe. The fruit is usually left on the tree until needed, as it can remain fresh for several weeks.
  1. Health Benefits: Consuming kumquats can have several health benefits. They are high in antioxidants, which help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, their vitamin C content boosts the immune system and aids in collagen production.

It’s important to note that if you have any specific medical conditions or allergies, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before adding kumquats or any new food to your diet.

Have you tried one? Comment down below if you have!

Want to see how a human body reacts to eating a Kumquat for the first time? Check out my friend’s sweet baby eating a kumquat for the first time!

Featured image source: Unsplash – Elianna Friedman

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About Shari

Shari Likes Fruit is all about making fruit and vegetables enjoyable, loving animals, and cherishing the joy within all of us.

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