This exotic fruit, which comes from China, looks like a cross between a cherry tomato and an orange. In Chinese, it translates as “golden orange”, and locals enjoy it by eating the whole fruit without peeling it. The kumquat peel is full of flavour and, surprisingly, the sweetest part of the fruit, as the flesh is quite tart in comparison.
Although kumquats were introduced to Europe and the Americas in the 19th century and can now be commercially grown in many parts of the world, the fruit is still relatively rare outside Asia.
Kumquats are excellent for cooking
The kumquat is the smallest representative of the citrus family, related to oranges, lemons and grapefruits. And its shape resembles a large golden-coloured olive.
It’s a great source of vitamin C, providing over 70 % of the recommended daily intake per 100 g / ¾ cup.
In cooking, you can use kumquats interchangeably with oranges. Its size and tart flavour are the reasons why some prefer it, however.
Kumquats bring a splash of colour and a punch of zest to salads, add sweet and sour flavour to poultry and meat and can be cooked into delicious jams and jellies.
Slices of kumquat are often used to garnish cocktails, while Chinese herbal medicine recognises it as a perfect ingredient for healing and invigorating teas.
If you can find kumquats, make your own marmalade, a delicious sweet and tangy spread for toasted sourdough. And you are lucky: Farmy is the place where you can usually find delicious kumquats!
A simple recipe to make your own delicious kumquat marmalade
- Bring a pan of water to a boil.
- In the meantime, prick 500 g / 3 cups of fresh kumquats with a toothpick in several places and simmer the fruit in the boiling water for 15-20 minutes.
- Allow the fruit to cool down, then cut each kumquat in half, scooping out the seeds. Finally, roughly slice the kumquats; no need to peel the fruit.
- In a separate pan, dissolve 500 g / 2 ½ cups of sugar in 500 g / 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the chopped kumquats to the pan with syrup and stir, reducing the heat.
- Star anise and cinnamon complement kumquats, so add 4 stars and a dried stick into the pot if you like.
- Let the kumquats simmer for 45 minutes over low heat until caramelised.
Store the marmalade in an airtight jar in the fridge for a week. You can preserve the marmalade for a year using a hot water canning method.
Prepare a refreshing Taiwanese-fashion tea with kumquat marmalade
In Taiwan, local coffee shops offer delicious kumquat tea. To make it at home, dissolve 1 tbsp of the kumquat marmalade in 1 cup of hot water, steep for a few minutes and enjoy.