Kumquats can only be found during their short season. Eat the whole fruit (the rind is sweet)!
When are kumquats in season?
Most kumquats in the US are grown in Florida and California.
- Florida season: November to March
- California season: Janaury to April
How to pick & store
Not all stores carry them (yet!). If you can't find them near you, check with an Asian grocer, as the fruit is more popular in Asian cooking.
Kumquats should be plump and have no shriveled skin (a sign they are old and drying out).
You can leave them on the counter if you're going to eat them within a few days. Or you can put them in the fridge for several weeks.
How to eat kumquats
The entire fruit can be eaten, including the rind (peel). The rind is sweet and the flesh is very sour or tart. The seeds are edible, but quite bitter so most people spit them out.
To eat them whole, roll it around in your hands to release the aromatic oils (our sense of smell greatly impacts our sense of taste). Then pop it in your mouth and spit out the seeds.
You can also slice them or chop into a chutney. Remove the seeds, as you would for other citrus.
Should I buy organic?
The EPA doesn't have test data for kumquats. If you want to be cautious, buy organic when possible.
Limequats are a cross between a key lime and a kumquat. Their peel is sweet, but less so than a kumquat. If you like eating sour things, this is for you. The edible peel also makes this great for marmalade and chutney.
This collection of recipes are hand selected to make sure all ingredients are in-season at the same time as kumquats. Because the season spans several months, the recipes are grouped into early or late season, or anytime kumquats are available.
...For anytime they are in-season
Lamb shanks with kumquat, fennel, cardamom and mint - recipe by Eat in My Kitchen
Kumquat honeycomb tartines - recipe by The Bojon Gourmet
...For early spring
Asparagus with kumquats, dates, hazelnuts and feta - recipe by Feed Me Early
Eat at the very start of spring, when kumquat season is coming to an end, and the first asparagus start to arrive.