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Kumquat The Golden Orange

Ever wonder what those tiny little orange citrus are and how you eat them?  Kumquats are a unique member of the citrus family and are thought to come from China.  The name comes from the Chinese words chin kan meaning golden orange.  Kumquats can be hard to find at times but worth searching out.   No need to peel, you can just pop the whole fruit in your mouth.    The oval shaped Nagami is the most commonly sold with a sweet rind and tart flesh.   The second most commonly seen variety is the round shaped Meiwa with a spicy sweet rind and flesh.  You may find a few seeds inside but they are edible.

Kumquat trees are very hardy with a prolonged dormancy stage and almost never grow more than 12 feet. They require a warm summer and can withstand temperatures down to 14 degrees.  The trees don’t start growing until there is warm weather and they don’t blossom until midsummer.  If you can grow Meyer lemons in your backyard then a kumquat tree would most likely grow well.  They are in season from November to June.

Kumquats can be used to make candied peels, preserves or marmalades.  They can be sliced and added to salads or used as a garnish in cocktails.  Kumquats provide potassium, vitamins A and C and are a good source of fiber. 

As a reminder, let all citrus come to room temperature first and then roll it on the counter a few times to bring out the full essence of the fruit and  to yield more juice.

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