What is a Kumquat…?? By Chef Katie Nicholas
As I was wandering through the enormous Whole Foods by my house, I stumbled upon these precarious mini orange-like fruits called Kumquats. I had no idea what these little guys looked like or tasted like, but I had heard the name before. Since my curiosity got the best of me, I bought a couple of them and decided to look up some recipes for these tiny fruits.
Originally, this fruit is from Asian regions, but is also grown in the United States in warmer regions like Florida. These oval shaped fruits come from short, evergreen trees that look almost like shrubs. I was told they can be eaten raw, so I tried one. An intense rush of sour and bitter engulfed my mouth, luckily I only bit off a small piece. Wow, I thought, kind of like a really strong Sour Warhead candy from my childhood. I was confused though, because I thought that Kumquats were in-season; mine didn’t have any green spots and they were a perfect yellowish-orange color. They still intrigued me though, so I just tried a piece of the rind, which was surprisingly sweet and delicious. I looked into it further and Kumquats are usually sour and salty on the inside with a sweet, juicy rind. Ok…so who would eat these whole then? I guess people who love Sour Patch Kids.
Apparently these little suckers are good for candying and making marmalades or preserves; now that sounds good! Also, recent trends have been using slices of them in salads or macerating them in liquor for cocktails like a Kumquat Mojito. Go home and try one tonight; all you need is White Rum, Sugar, Mint, Limes, Club Soda, Ice and of course Kumquats! Enjoy.
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