Kumquats are not as known as other citrus fruits, but its popularity is increasing with every passing day, primarily due to its numerous health benefits and the distinct taste it gives to marmalades, jellies, and salads. Today, we at Live It Beautiful have got you a detailed article on kumquats describing this amazing little fruit at its best. So stay tuned to know on the health benefits of kumquats, where to buy kumquats and even the recipes of kumquats.
What Are Kumquats?
Kumquats come from the flowering plant family of Rutaceae. These small edible fruits with the scientific name Citrus japonica are the look-alike of oranges, but only smaller in dimension. Sometimes they have the shape and size similar to an olive. Kumquats are Asian in origin and are believed to have developed in South Asia and Asian-Pacific region. They are small fruit-bearing trees that can be grown anywhere if you maintain proper soil conditions and take other necessary measures.
Types Of Kumquats:
There are various kinds of Kumquats found in different regions of the world. They often differ in shapes as well as their taste and appearance. Below we have listed the different kind of Kumquats that could be found in different areas of the world:
They are evergreen yellow edible fruits. They are found to be quite small and oval in size. It has a sweet rind and a very sour center just like pomelo. It is known to be used in numerous ways from making marmalades to even being served as cooked on your plate. At times they can be used for ornamental purposes too.
They are also termed as Nagami Kumquats. They are eaten as a whole. The skin of the fruit is very sweet with a very sweet tart like flavor which seems very refreshing. They are very small in size as considered to other types of the kumquats.
They are known by the name Fukushu Kumquats. They are bell or round shaped. They look bright when they are very ripe. They often come into use while making jellies and marmalades.
Centennial Variegated Kumquats:
They are known to have a very rough skin and are mostly squatted. One striking future of these is they have yellow and green stripes all over the skin. Their flavor is the same as Nagami Kumquats.
They are a cross breed between a kumquat and mandarin. The rind is crunchy and the seeds are larger as compared to other types of Kumquats. They are often found to be oblong in shape and look something like miniature tangerines.
Limequats are another species that come from the cross-breeding of a kumquat tree and a key lime. They are found to be extremely sour with a slightly salty tang towards the end. The skin has a very sweet taste thus contrasting the inner slightly salty tang.
Kumquat Trees are natives of China where they are gifted on the Lunar new year occasion. They are evergreen and have an average height range from eight feet to fifteen feet. Their canopy is most often round with a vase-like shape. In spring, the entire tree is covered by white fragrant flowers. They are self-fertile which means that one kumquat is enough to make the tree laden with fruits. These trees can be easily grown. They are tall and slim. They can be grown in a wide range of soils. They can tolerate soil which is basic or even acidic. The most important requirement of the soil is that it should be well-drained. The tree is able to thrive in extreme season conditions. They are slow growing trees i.e.; they take a long time to develop fruits. In the beginning stages, these trees are found to be shrubby and small in size. They have glossy, dark green leaves.
Regions Where Kumquats Are Grown:
They are believed to be first grown in southern China but with the fast-developing technology, it is possible to grow these trees almost anywhere on the planet. Below we have listed the places where they are found to grow in abundant quantity naturally:
- South Korea
- North Korea
- South Pakistan
- USA: They are found in the regions of California, Florida, Louisiana and Alabama.
They are found to grow in small amounts in other Southeast Asian countries but the shape and size of kumquats may vary from the kumquats found in other regions.
What Does A Kumquat Taste Like?
Kumquats are peculiar because they have a sweet rind and a very sour center which is the opposite of other citrus fruits. They have miniature juicy segments like in oranges that are termed as arils. These arils are the regions where the sour juice of a Kumquat is stored. The Kumquats are eaten as a whole, the flesh as well as the skin and as a result, you will encounter a sharp contrast of sweet and sour flavors. There are seeds present inside the kumquats. These seeds too are edible but they are hard and have a very bitter taste just like oranges. If one does not mind their flavor they are well enough to be eaten as the part of the fruit.
How To Make A Kumquat Sweet In Taste?
Often, people are not great fans of the mix and match of the two contrasting flavors. We have a simple trick that can help you make your kumquat sweet in taste without the external addition of any sweetening agent. The sourness is found in the juicy center and the problem could be solved if we simply remove the juice. It’s not wasteful as the amount of juice present is very less. To do this, nibble away a small section of the skin from the upper side of the kumquat. Now, place the kumquats between the two palms with the open section at the bottom. Rub the kumquat between the two palms. In no time the sour juice will be drained and all you will have in your hand is a sweet kumquat. This rubbing process not only makes the kumquat very sweet but it is also an amazing method to get rid of the seeds present inside. Rubbing the skin helps the releasing of a certain fluid in the rind which gives the kumquat a naturally sweet flavor.
The Season Of The Kumquats:
As the kumquats are evergreen, they can be grown all around the year but the best time for it is November to April. They can be grown in pots but you need a large pot for growing a kumquat tree. The soil should be well drained and it should be fed on a regular basis. Exposure to the sun for extended periods is very important. Fertilizers may be added to the plant but it should not be done in the first two or three months. The next important issue is to prevent root rot and thus make sure to keep the soil wet but not soggy.
Where To Buy Kumquats?
Kumquats can be bought online. There are various kinds of kumquats that are available online. The price may vary from 250 INR to 500 INR.
Nutrients In Kumquats:
Like all other citrus fruits, Kumquats come with a lot of nutrients that are very helpful to our body. The important nutrients that a small kumquat contains are all listed below:
- Essential oils
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Beneficial Fats
Benefits Of Kumquats:
Kumquats have a number of benefits. We are listing the benefits of the kumquats below:
- Regulation of digestion
- Makes the skin nourished
- Vitamin A present in it is very helpful to the eyes
- Helps in maintaining a good dental health
- Inhibits diabetes
- Maintains a level of cholesterol
- Strengthens the bones
- Improves the nerve health
- Boosts the immune system
How To Eat A Kumquat?
If you are newly acquainted with this fruit we are here to help you in choosing good kumquats and enjoying its taste. Just do the following steps:
- First of all, it is important to choose a ripe kumquat as the raw ones can be very sour. The ones which have a bright orange or a yellowish orange color are more likely to be ripe than the green ones. Feel the kumquat o check that the skin is firm everywhere and it has no marks of physical damage or is shriveled up anywhere.
- Wash the kumquat thoroughly as the entire kumquat has to be eaten. Rub the kumquat under running water to remove any dirty impure particles from the pores of its skin.
- Remove the seeds of the kumquat as they can be very bitter in taste. You can remove it beforehand or just spit it out when encountered inside the mouth after taking a bite.
Kumquats can be eaten directly after being plucked from the tree and no processing of the fruit is required.
Recipes Of Kumquats:
Kumquats can be used in a number of ways. They can be used as your morning bread spread or even a jelly or candy to cheer you up. It can be the best pal of your all green salad plate or a sweet and spicy chutney to enhance the flavors of the dish. We will be discussing a few recipes of kumquats that are very popular all around the globe.
The All Green Salad Plate:
It is one of the simplest salads and a power pack of the most important nutrients required by the body. Ingredients needed:
- Spring Parsley
- Sprig mints
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Table salt
First of all, chop all the greens and put them in a bowl. Next, cut the kumquats in a circular fashion and remove the seeds. Next, put lemon juice and olive in two parts to one-part proportion and mix it together. Put a little salt and put the resulting dressing on the bowl and mix it well.
Note: Instead of all green salad, you can also use kumquats with other fruits in an all fruit salad. Kumquats can be a great companion and appearance enhancer for various fruit salads.
If you want to enjoy your delicious kumquats over a long period of a time we have a very simple recipe to enjoy the sweetness of this fruit for a long, long time. Ingredients needed:
Slice all the kumquats and put a little-powdered sugar over them. Next, add honey to them and put them in a jar. Put enough honey so that every piece is submerged. They are great toppings for ice-cream and yogurt. The honey taken from them can be even used for meat glazing.
Marmalades of kumquat are one of the best recipes. The sweet and refreshing flavor of kumquats in a marmalade is great mood makers. It is a bit time taking to cook but once it is done it won’t be spoilt for a good two months at room temperature and for six long months in the freezer. Ingredients required:
Chop the Kumquats finely and the added sugar and mix them together. Now bring this mixture to a boil until it becomes melts completely and thickens.
They can be a healthy replacement for all those sugary and colorful candies that make you obese in no time. Ingredients required:
Roughly chop all the kumquats. Nest brings water with sugar to a boil thus making it a syrup. Simmer the sugar syrup for another four minutes and then add kumquats and simmer it for another ten minutes. Drain the kumquats and reduce the syrup for another five minutes. Now combine half of the reduced syrup and the kumquats and refrigerate it. It won’t go bad for a good two weeks.
Chutney is a must to enhance the flavor of any dish. Kumquat chutney is a great delight to the taste buds and also not very hard to cook either. Ingredients required:
- Orange juice
- Rice Vinegar
- Red pepper
- Cinnamon stick
Wash the kumquats, remove seeds and slice them. Pour 355 ml of orange juice over a kilogram of kumquats and then cover it with cling paper and leave it overnight. Next, take a thumb size ginger and grate it. Then add the marinated kumquats, 295 ml of vinegar, red pepper, and one cinnamon stick. After mixing them, bring it to a boil and cook on a steady heat until it becomes thick. Don’t make it too thick as after turning off the heat it thickens a little bit more.
So, this was all from our side this time. What recipes did you try? Did you experience its benefits? Still, have a question? Feel free to write it all to us in the comments section below. We are happy to help. And don’t forget to live your life beautifully.