Kumquats: the perfect combo


Photo provided by authenticflorida.com

A celebration befitting a wonderful fruit.

Sandy Hutchins, Sports Editor

In the last installment of the fruit series I discussed the delectable orange as one of the best fruits. I am back once again and this time I am going to talking about another fantastic orange fruit, the kumquat or cumquat for my Australian readers out there. Let’s kick things off with the story behind the unique name that kumquats have. Kumquat is derived from the Cantonese gam-gwat which translates to golden orange. This reinforces the idea that the kumquat is just as prestigious as an orange.

One variant of the kumquat, the round kumquat, symbolizes good luck in China and other Asian countries. This fruit, just like the orange, is native to south Asia and appears in Chinese literature as early as the 12th century. These fruits have been grown in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and southeast Asia. In 1846 the heroic man Robert Fortune brought these sweet yet tart fruit over to Europe doing his duty as a collector for the London Horticultural Society, a gardening charity that encourages horticulture through flower shows. The kumquat capital of the world is coincidentally in St. Joseph, Florida. Kumquats also hold a special place in Florida, as every year Dade City throws a kumquat centered festival in January and attracts thousands of kumquat lovers from across the world.

One of my personal favorite fruits are grapes because of their size and flavor. They are easy to eat with no peeling and are perfectly bite sized. They are candy of the fruit world. I also love oranges for their flavor of sweetness mixed with a bit of tartness. The kumquat is such a fantastic fruit because it takes the elements of both of these fruits and combines them. A kumquat has a flavor similar to an orange and the ease of access of a grape as the oval kumquat is eaten skin and all as the skin is sweet with a sour inside.

While the kumquat may not carry the prestige or popularity the orange does, make no mistake; the kumquat is as good, if not better, than its larger cousin in the citrus world.