It’s at this time of year that kumquat trees are bearing their olive-sized fruits in abundance. The height of its season coincides with the Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year).
The Kumquat plant are fruit-bearing trees with fruit that look like small oval or round oranges. Depending on the size of the kumquat tree, they can produce literally hundreds if not thousands of fruit a year. The plant symbolizes good luck in Asian countries. They are kept has houseplants and are common gifts during the Lunar New Year. The flowers symbolize prosperity and are popular floral decorations at new year markets. Kumquat trees are used as ornamental plants and can be bonsaied.
The fruit is eaten whole with its edible peel that is sweet in contrast to the flesh inside that is quite sour. It can be consumed raw or enjoyed in various other culinary dishes and desserts. Common uses include marmalades, preserves, salads and I can imagine it tossed into a stir-fry.
I’ve had difficulty finding kumquats in local markets. However, when I have stumbled across them, they can be quite expensive. How to remedy that challenge? Try growing kumquats yourself…
Kumquats are hardier than other citrus cousins and can survive in low temperatures. In warmer regions they grow better and may produce larger fruit.
A couple of years ago, we brought home a 5-gallon Nagami Kumquat (oval fruit) tree. I have no idea how old the plant was when we transplanted it to a larger patio planter, but the first year it did not flower, thus no fruit. Throughout last year, I watched it closely, making sure it had as much sun as possible, administered citrus fertilizer stakes to compensate for the lack of nutrients the soil it was planted in must have lacked. With much TLC and patience, the first signs of sweet smelling flowers that eventually bore fruit were this novice gardener’s reward!
Last year we added a Fukushu Kumquat (round or bell shaped fruit) tree and hopefully with the same tender-loving-care, we’ll enjoy fruit from that tree by next season. I’m looking forward to comparing the two trees and the qualities of their fruits.
Previous Posts Using Kumquats
- Kumquat & Chocolate Chunk Muffins with Cardamom, Coconut & Honeyed Oats
- Dark Chocolate Mousse with Sugared Kumquats in Syrup