When I was younger one of my favorite snacks was kumquats. There was a retailer at the Jacksonville Flea Market that would sell baskets of them for a rather good price. Besides kumquats being known as the “Golden Orange” they’re also known for their peel being edible and sweet.
What is a Kumquat
Kumquats are slightly bigger than grapes and have a sweet-tart citrus flavor. They get the “Golden Orange” name because in Chinese, kumquat means golden orange. China is also where they originate from, which makes sense given their nickname. However now kumquats are grown in several countries including the United States. There are two different types of kumquats both of which are grown right here in Florida!
- This is the most common kumquat tree grown here in the US. This small, evergreen plant has dark green leaves and is easy to care for. The tree also produces white, sweet-smelling flowers. The Nagami kumquat is usually more tart than the other type, the Meiwa.
- This type is more prevalent in China and was introduced to the US from Japan in 1910. The Meiwa kumquat is typically sweeter and rounder than the Nagami.
As of most fresh fruits, 80% of a kumquats weight is from water, making them very hydrating. They are also very rich in Vitamin C and Fiber. A 100-gram serving which is about 5 whole kumquats contains:
- 71 Calories
- 16 grams of Carbs
- 2 grams of Protein
- 1 gram of Fat
- 6.6 grams of Fiber
- 6% of the DV of Vitamin A
- 73% of the DV of Vitamin C
- 6% of the DV of Calcium
- 7% of the DV of Manganese
Kumquats also supply small amounts of B Vitamins, Vitamin E, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Zinc. The peel and edible seeds provide a rather small amount of Omega-3 fats too. Lastly, because of the high water and fiber content, they are a very filling food. This makes them a great snack for anyone!
How to eat them
Eating kumquats growing up I never peeled them and that’s actually the best way to eat them as all their flavoring and nutrition comes from the whole kumquat. If you try one whole and the tart juice isn’t for you, that’s okay. You can squeeze the kumquat releasing the juice before you eat it by biting one end off (or cutting it) and then squeeze. You can also try gently rolling the fruit between your fingers before eating it. This method releases the essential oils the peel contains and mixes the sweet and tart flavors.