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All About Kumquats

The kumquat grows on a five- to six-metre-high shrub known as the “Japanese lemon tree.” Native to China, it was introduced in Europe in 1846.

The word kumquat comes from the Cantonese word “kin kü,” which means “golden orange.”


The kumquat looks like a stretched or round miniature orange. Its colour can vary from dark orange to golden yellow. The peel of the kumquat is edible and often sweeter than its flesh, which has a slightly acidic taste.

Culinary tips and advice

  • Choose firm kumquats with shiny skin that is free of spots and bruises. Soft fruit will tend to deteriorate more rapidly.
  • Blanch the kumquat in boiling water for about twenty seconds to soften the skin.
  • Knead the kumquat to free the peel’s essential oils.
  • The kumquat can be eaten as is, including the soft, thin and fragrant skin. It can be served plain with the seeds removed.
  • The kumquat is a good mix with bitter salad greens such as endive and curly chicory. It’s a great addition to fruit salads, but also pairs well with vegetables, poultry or seafood.
  • Kumquats accompany meats and poultry very well and enhance the flavour of sweet and sour sauces.

Expert Tip

Dipped in melted dark chocolate, the kumquat becomes an original and delicious treat.


Kumquats are available from November to March.

Nutritional value

Kumquats are rich in vitamin C and contain potassium and copper.


Kumquats can be left at room temperature for five or six days away from direct sunlight or stored for two to three weeks in the refrigerator.


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