They look like an oval orange but are as small as a plump olive, and you can eat it whole, peel and all! Don’t let their resemblance to oranges fool you – kumquats, that originate in Asia, are actually members of a different category called Fortunella. These tiny fruits have a sweet rind, tart flesh, and almost no pith, and the balanced flavour means that they can also be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Kumquats are in season from November through to March but may be found all year round. Make sure to pick bright orange, firm, smooth fruits and they will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks when stored properly.
- Kumquats are popular in China and they are commonly used as ornamental plants.
- The word for kumquat in Chinese means ‘gold orange’ and they symbolise good luck, which is why they are given as gifts in the New Year.
- Do you have a green thumb? The round and oval kumquat varieties are great for bonsai cultivation. Kumquats are already smaller than other citrus in general, and also cold-hardy. Start your own or find a ‘pre-bonsai’ ready for you to start caring for. Looked after well, these miniature trees will keep flowering and giving you fruit for many years.