Kumquats are small, ovular citrus fruits that originally come from China. They are common oriental fruits. They were discovered by the British botanist Robert Fortunella. Kumquat means “kimku” in Cantonese, or golden orange. Kumquats are small, approximately 1 to 2 inches in length. They are golden orange in color, and divided into 5 or 6 sections and sometimes several large seeds. The rind is thin and edible. Unlike other citrus fruits- the skin of the kumquat is eaten, and is actually sweeter, and less bitter than that of the flesh. The flesh of the kumquat is very tart or bitter. When eaten “as is”, sometimes a slight numbing sensation from the high citric acid occurs on the tongue, lending it to be a great palate cleanser.
There are 4 main varieties of kumquats. In Florida, there are two that are grown: Nagami and Meiwa.
The Nagami is tarter, and is preferred for cooking and marmelades. Nagami is the most popular. It is 1 ¼ to 1 ¾ inch in length, and contains 2-5 seeds. It is originally from China.
The Meiwa is sweeter and better for eating out of hand. Meiwa was brought to Florida in 1911. It is a globose fruit 1 to 1-½ inches in length. This is usually seedless. The peel is thicker. Originally from Japan.
The Kumquats are in season from November to March. In Florida, they are in peak in late winter. They contain vitamins A and C and are high in potassium.
1 1/2 lb kumquats, seeded, thinly sliced
2 to 3 cups water
1 oz powdered pectin
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 3/4 cups sugar
1. Place kumquats in a large saucepan; add enough water to barely cover the fruit. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat ot low; simmer 50 minutes or until peels are soft, adding additional water as needed to keep kumquats barely cover and stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, place 5- 8 oz canning jars and lids in large pot; cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil 15 minutes. Let stand in hot water until ready to use.
3. Measure 3 1/2 cups cooked kumquat mixture. If necessary, add additional water to make 3 1/2 cups. Place in a large pot or non reactive Dutch oven; stir in pectin and lemon juice, mixing thoroughly. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; boil 1 minute. Stir in sugar. Bring to a rolling boil; boil 1 minute. Remove from hear; skim off foam.
4. Ladle kumquat mixture into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch space at top. Wipe rims of jars clean using damp cloth. Seal tightly with lids, let cool completely. Store in refrigerator up to 6 months.
Fills 5 (8 oz) jars
© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2013, January 10). Kumquats. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net