Monday, 22 December 2008

Kumquat. Cumquat. Whatever.


Deceptive graphic, this; a real kumquat is only about 3-4cm in diameter. (An inch and a bit in the old currency).

I have always called them cumquats but I see most Google entries have them as kumquats. Being as they are Chinese in origin, any English name is just a stab in the dark anyway.

My cranberry post got a bit of curiosity on cumquats happening so I thought I would enlarge on them.

There are a number of varieties. The ones I am familiar with are a 'squashed ball' shape, like a tiny mandarin. (And in the pic above). Others I have seen on line are oval or pear shaped.

They are almost inedible raw. Not impossible, as legions of small school boys have proved their right to manhood by eating one raw, but not the way of choice. Contrary to most citrus fruits, the skin is okay, it is the flesh that is very tart.

I have a long association with them - my Granny had a big one in the centre of her front garden. Well, I remember it as big. I now have one in our driveway (below), trimmed to keep it away from the car.

They have a very intense flavour and so usually do a supporting role.

My recipes for them include:

Cumquat brandy, a liqueur.
Cumquat cordial, I have done a lemon/orange/cumquat blend to acclaim.
Cumquat marmalade, but I prefer an orange/cumquat blend, 75:25.
Pear & cumquat tart
Cumquat and cardamon syrup cake.



  1. they sound lovely.
    if i ever do get to the continent you call home, perhaps you'll treat me to a bit of the aforementioned concoctions.

  2. I have a tree but mine will not fruit!

  3. A curious coincidence- our Nice Neighbour used Cumquats to decorate the fruit platter yesterday, & Gom, ever the adventurer, had to taste one!
    He declared it Horrible, & spat it out!

  4. oh, i love them raw! sometimes if they are especially bitter we drag them through a bit of sugar, sort of like sugaring the rim of a margarita glass. mostly we just pop them in our mouths and bite right in! but you gotta love "tart" to do this with joy!

  5. Now, looks like I'll have to go to Melbourne to have a taste. Watch out if I ever land on your continent..

  6. I have my cumquat/kumquat growing in a terra cotta pot, on the terrace just outside my back door.
    I have it there because the fragrance of the citrus blossoms are so lovely when they waft on the breeze into the house.
    They are very tart, I used to pick my fruit and give it to a friend who was fond of making marmalade and jams.
    I am also fond of cranberries, in jelly for serving with poultry, the dried fruits are great with muesli and I enjoy the juice. ♥

    Thanks Lee for your kind comment over at Here is my Heart, I was really very excited when I saw the CD cover.

    I would like to wish you and Margaret and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas, I hope you have a lovely day. ♥♥

  7. Oh - I like kumquats and can eat them raw...


  8. You've got my mum salivating over the thought of Cumquat Brandy, Pear and Cumquat Tart and particularly the Cumquat and Cardamon syrup cake....She says 'Are you doing anything special at Christmas????'

  9. Special? Having my Mum over, as always. Plus Richard's girlfriend and her Dad, I believe. First Xmas since my Dad died so I am not feeling very Christmassy at all. Made a cake.

    Don't know what I will have as a starter yet but Xmas main is always roast chicken and roast pork, roast potatoes and salads. Plum pudding with custard and ice-cream for dessert.

  10. Interesting comquat post! I don't think I've ever tasted one, believe it or not.

  11. Just reading the post makes my saliva run...that's how sour they are.

  12. I do hope you have a lovely christmas day Lee. You have alot of family around so that should be good as its going to be tough not having your Dad there .

    rosie wants to know if you put sixpences in your pudding? She has only 8 teeth left and you cannot afford to lose anymore she says.

  13. Used to put sixpences in, many moons ago, but what with inflation and the new-fangled cupronickel 5¢ coins, we tend to just slip a $2 coin under a piece of pudding when it is being served up. Dull, no? But Rosie-safe, should she wish some.

  14. not sure i've ever had one! maybe out of a can!

  15. I do like to rubbish bin dive Lee. so I guess my sacred 8 teeth will be safe! LOL


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