Kumquats are small, delicious fruits that people are prone to overlook (might be the mouthful name). However, this citrus variant makes great snacks and can be used in any recipe like any other citrus fruit. Read ahead to learn their true origin, varieties and three important health benefits associated with them.
A kumquat is a tiny citrus fruit that looks like an orange. They originated from Southeast Asia but are now cultivated all over Asia and also in the U.S.
They are in the same family as oranges and even look like miniature oranges. The name kumquat also means "golden orange" in Cantonese.
The kumquat is only slightly larger than olive or grape and is typically oval and oblong. Every part of them can be consumed, including the seed and the outer layer.
Some say they were first grown in China in the 12th century. However, Americans did not start eating them until the mid-1800s. In this modern age, they are cultivated in places with tropical climates like California and Florida.
Kumquats are delightful snacks that your taste buds will thank you for. They have a citrusy taste similar to an orange. They're a little sweet but mostly tarter and tangy.
The peel is said to be the tastiest part of this fruit, cutting a deep contrast against the flesh, which is very sour — keep in mind that how sour the flesh depends on the variety of kumquat you buy.
There are several varieties of kumquats, but the three well-known ones include Nagami, Marumi, and Meiwa.
This kumquat is widely cultivated in the U.S. It is more oval-shaped and oblong and possesses a tarter flavor than other kumquat variants.
The Marumi kumquat has a round shape and is typically larger than its counterparts. These varieties are sweeter and have more juice in them than other varieties.
The Meiwa kumquat is also round and sweet enough to compete with the Marumi kumquats for flavor. It's the most popular variant in China and Japan, but it can also be found in the U.S.
Kumquats are not just tasty; they are nutritious too. Here are some of their most important benefits to you:
They are rich in vitamins: Kumquats contain vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, and vitamin A, which aids the body in areas like vision, and growth.
Full of antioxidants: The kumquat's peel is not just delicious, it is also high in antioxidants, which help protect against heart disease and dreaded cancer. This is why it is advisable to eat the whole kumquat for the most benefits.
Contains a lot of fiber: Kumquats are fiber-rich; consuming one may aid the digestive process and maintain your bowel movements. They will make you feel full for longer, which makes them a great and healthy snack.
You can easily find Kumquats in stores from November to April; however, the best time to get some is in December and January.
For the best purchase, look out for kumquats with bright skin and a firm feel. Also, pay attention to the weight; the heavier, the better. Shun those with bruises or blemishes and the green ones. On a final note, the best preservation method is refrigeration as they only last a few days under room temperature.