For part of my returning series, Have You Ever?, today I will ask if you have ever eaten a kumquat? Earlier this week, while grocery shopping, I passed by the citrus stand at the grocery store. There, the petite, yet familiar oval orange fruit lay in a bin just beckoning me to grab some to take home. And, so I did!
I have eaten Kumquats! Many times, while growing up, we would purchase these tiny fruits during the winter! I remember how sour they were but also remember really enjoying the unique taste of the sweet skin that balances the sour flesh. You see, the difference between a kumquat and other citrus fruit is that the kumquat does not need to be peeled! Of course, I would recommend washing their skin prior to eating, as you would with any fruit. After that, you can pop the whole thing in your mouth and enjoy!
Kumquats are native to China but grown in other places as well, as long as it is sunny and warm. In the U.S., they can be found growing in Florida and California. There has been some debate as to whether the kumquat is a citrus fruit or not with some botanists putting this tiny mouth puckering bite into a genus of its own, that of Fortunella. But, as most of us are not botanists, and rarely even know the scientific names for the foods we eat, I really do not thing this matters at all.
Kumquats are available in the winter months. I was so pleased to see them in our grocery store! My boys, now teenagers, have never been exposed to the kumquat, as I have never seen them offered for sale here before! One of the two tried them and has been adding them to flavor his water for the last two days. My husband and I are just popping them in our mouths for a quick, but nutritious treat! Kumquats are low in calories but high in nutrients. They are abundant in antioxidants, fiber, essential oils, and vitamin C. You can read more about them the Nutrition and You Blog.
Since the batch I bought is almost gone, I will be headed back to the grocery store this morning to see if I can get more of this sweet skinned, mouth puckering, cold fighting tiny treat! I would highly recommend you try to get some as well! Let me know if you have ever eaten a kumquat and what you thought!