Kumquat

Kumquat

Synonym:
Cumquat
Plural:
Cumquats, Kumquats
Family:
Rutaceae – Citrus Family
Species:
Fortunella margarita

Origin

Kumquats originate from the mountain forests of Southern China where the trees are particularly popular as ornamental plants. There are the following theories about their development: They were either bred centuries ago from a citrus species with large fruits as ornamental midget-oranges, or they are their own species and are just distant relatives of the other citrus fruits. The Latin name Fortunella is derived from the British botanist Robert Fortune, who brought the little oranges to England in 1846. In contrast, the name Kumquat comes from Cantonese.

Plant

The closely ramified bushes up to 1.5 m heigh with narrow, dark-green shining foliage differ from the other citrus fruits: Their white, flavoursome blooms with the waxen petals open up when the fruits already maturing.

Cultivation

Kumquats today are produced everywhere other citrus fruits are cultivated.

Importations

From Israel, Italy and Corsica from December to February. From Brazil from October to February. Mexico, the USA and Morocco from February to April. FromSouth Africa starting from the beginning of July.

Fruit

Edible:
The skin and the whole fruit. Sometimes disturbing: the very large and bitter cores.
Odour and flavour:
They are like an orange, somewhat bitterly sweet and aromatic.
Size:
They are between size of a date and a plum, about 2.5 to 4 cm.
Shape:
Oval or roundish.
Bowl:
The skin is golden to orange, thin, smooth and pleasantly bitter sweet.
Flesh:
There are 3 to 5 segments with one or two seeds in each case; It tastes sweet and sourish like a very aromatic orange.

Usage

They may be used in sweet and hearty salads as well as consumed raw. Also, they may be steamed as compote and boiled down for jam.

Storage

Mature fruits may be stored for approximately 5 days at room temperature or for about 3 weeks in a refrigerator. Like all other citrus fruits kumquats will not continue to ripen after the harvest.

Tip

The date sized and egg-shaped kumquats taste more aromatic than the thick and roundish ones. Note: Those who are allergic to citrus peel should not eat Kumquats.