Kumquat: Tips and Tricks

Seen as symbols of good luck and prosperity for centuries in their Chinese homeland, kumquats can be truly rewarding in your kitchen. With a mellow sweetness that helps balance a strong tartness, kumquats take aspects of other citrus fruits and incorporates them into a singular, bite sized package. Play your part in the story of kumquats with these tips and tricks.

  • Unlike other citrus fruits, you don’t have to peel the fruit before eating it. In fact, the sweetness of the fruit actually lies in the peel, so if you just eat the pulp, you’ll be getting an exclusively tart bite. 
  • While there are many varieties of kumquats, you’ll most likely find either the nagami or meiwa variety. From a visual standpoint, nagamis are generally smaller and have an oval shape while meiwas are large and round. They’re both sweet on the first bite, but meiwas don’t have the signature tartness associated with kumquats, making them better suited for individual eating rather than an ingredient. 
    • Pro Tip:  Want to learn more about varieties? Check out “Know Your Kumquats” to find out which five are our favorite!
  • Choosing premium fruit can be easier than you think. The best kumquats will feel heavy for their size and have smooth, bright orange skins. 
    • Pro Tip: Kumquats stop ripening once they’ve been picked, so steer clear of any fruit that seems unripe. 
  • Kumquats are more susceptible to damage than other citrus fruits, so always take caution when bringing them into your kitchen. Additionally, they tend to have a short shelf life, so try and use them within a few days of purchase. 
  • Looking for an easy way to use kumquats? Trying throwing them (peel and all) into a hearty salad. Bonus points if you utilize winter greens like kale or kohlrabi for a seasonal treat!