To view more pictures on this plant, click the "All Images" tab above.
To view or mark new locations where this plant can be found, click the "Locations" tab above.
Common Name(s): Kumquat
Parts Used: stem
Beowulf65 4 Aug, 2008
Kumquats are frequently eaten raw. As the rind is sweet and the juicy center is sour, the raw fruit is usually consumed either whole, to savour the contrast, or only the rind is eaten. The fruit is considered ripe when it reaches a yellowish-orange stage, and has just shed the last tint of green. The Hong Kong Kumquat has a rather sweet rind compared to the rinds of other citrus fruits.
Culinary uses include: candying and kumquat preserves, marmalade, and jelly. Kumquats appear more commonly in the modern market as a martini garnish, replacing the classic olive. They can also be sliced and added to salads. A liqueur can also be made by macerating kumquats in vodka or other clear spirit.
The Cantonese often preserve kumquats in salt or sugar. A batch of the fruit is buried in dry salt inside a glass jar. Over time, all the juice from the fruit is extracted through dehydration into the salt. The fruit in the jar becomes shrunken, wrinkled, and dark brown in color, and the salt combines with the juice to become a dark brown brine. A few salted kumquats with a few teaspoons of the brine/juice may be mixed with hot water to make a remedy for sore throats. A jar of such preserved kumquats can last several years and still keep taste.
In Taiwan, kumquats are a popular addition to both hot and iced tea.
In Vietnam, kumquat bonsai trees are used as a decoration for the Tết (New Year) holiday.
Variants of the kumquat are grown specially in India.
Kumquats are cultivated in China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Japan, the Middle East, Europe (notably Corfu, Greece), and the southern United States (notably Florida)
They are much hardier than other citrus plants such as oranges. The 'Nagami' kumquat requires a hot summer, ranging from 25 ℃ (77') to 38 ℃ (100.4'), but can withstand frost down to about −10 ℃ (14 ℉) without injury. It grows in the tea balls of China where the climate is too cold for other citrus fruits, even the Mikan (also known as the Satsuma) orange. The trees differ also from other Citrus species in that they enter into a period of winter dormancy so profound that they will remain through several weeks of subsequent warm weather without putting out new shoots or blossoms. Despite their ability to survive low temperatures, as in the vicinity of San Francisco, California, the kumquat trees grow better and produce larger and sweeter fruits in warmer regions.