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Mar 02, 2016

Kumquats grow in grape-like clusters on very small trees. These tiny golden yellow, round or oval fruits are the smallest of the citrus fruits - ranging in size from about  1-2 inches in diameter.

The kumquat’s thin skin is sweet and edible, but the somewhat dry flesh is sour, with small edible seeds. The flavor is similar to an orange with a hint of tangerine. Their appeal stems from the contrast between the tart flesh and sweet rind, so they are normally eaten whole.

There are also hybrids produced with limes, oranges and other citrus fruit, known by names such as limequat, orangequat, citrangequat, etc.

The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in Chinese literature from the 12th century. Today they are cultivated in China and Japan and throughout the subtropical citrus belt, including California, where kumquats arrived in the late 1800s. The nation's top production area is in Northern San Diego County.

The local season for kumquats starts in October at the earliest and runs through June at the latest. Their flavor is best during spring.

Important Facts 

  • Store between 45°-50°F and 85-95% humidity.
  • Kumquats are susceptible to chill injury if stored at low temperatures. To prevent chill injury, do not store below 41°F.
  • Kumquats should be firm and well-colored.
  • Avoid fruit that is soft or shriveled.

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