If you have never tasted a kumquat and you are a cautious sort you may want to read on before trying. If you like surprises take a bite and or enjoy the surprise. Although they may appear to be tiny oranges they are actually from a different genus entirely. Unlike citrus fruit the skin of kumquats is edible. Kumquats are like an orange in reverse with a sweet skin and a tart pulp. The best way to describe them is intense. They are most commonly eaten whole, but if the flavor is too intense for your liking you can tone it down by paring them with other items. When eating whole kumquats a great technique is to roll them between your fingers to release the essential oils in the rind. They are also wonderful sliced up in salad. I have seen many dessert recipes with kumquats. Their flavor pairs well with the spinach in your box this week. The uses for kumquat go as far as your imagination. You can even use them in your decorating.
Most kumquats you see in America are nagami kumquats, the oval variety, but there is talk of the meiwa, a rounder, sweeter variety becoming more widely cultivated. Californian kumquat season ranges from January until June. Although kumquats have been grown in the United States for only one hundred and fifty years these tangy treats have been staples for centuries in several Asian countries.
Kumquats like most fresh fruit and vegetables are good sources of several nutrients. One kumquat has approximately 13 calories and 1.2 grams of fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. There is not any fat, cholesterol or sodium in a kumquat.
Kumquats are best stored in a refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag or container. They will last up to two weeks. Most produce prefers to be sealed in containers. We recommend reusable containers instead of bags because bags tend to confine the produce and cause mold. Delicate items like spinach do well to be unbundled and spread out in a container where air can circulate.
Ways to Eat Kumquat:
- Eat out of hand.
- Add to a green salad for a citrus kick. (see recipe below).
- Make preserves, chutney or marmalade.
- Bake a kumquat cake: http://www.food.com/recipe/tropical-kumquat-cake-98527
Spinach & Kumquat Salad
4 cups spinach, cleaned and torn 1/4 lb. kumquats, sliced 1/4 cup green onion, sliced 1/4 cup slivered almonds 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/8 cup cider vinegar 2-3 t. sugar (per taste) 1 T. onion, finely chopped
Directions: Prepare first four ingredients and toss in a bowl. Whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar and onion. Pour dressing over salad ingredients in the bowl and toss well.
Tip: Kumquats are delicious served over wilted spinach. Slice the kumquats and place them in the pan as the spinach wilts. Many chefs suggest serving with poultry.