The kumquat (sometimes spelt ‘cumquat’) is an asian citrus fruit with a sweet (easily damaged) skin and bitter, tart flavour whose name roughly translated means ‘gold orange’ in Mandarin. They are the size of a large gooseberry. Their growing season is November to March. They keep quite a long time – couple of weeks in the fridge. Use the whole fruit, skin included, flick out any easily accessible pips.


  • slice finely and add to salads for interest and colour – a salad of endives, parsley and mint with a lemon-based dressing (so, lots of tart and bitter) is good after or with a stew such as the Welsh cawl, or Irish stew
  • use with chicken – see recipe
  • incorporate into a lemon and coconut milk glaze on sesame shortbread
  • with dates and cranberries in a chutney
  • stew with onions and sherry vinegar and serve as a bed for cod – highly recommended
  • the Taiwanese add them to their tea
  • the Cubans stew with ginger and use to top a bitter chocolate cheesecake. Stew roughly chopped kumquats in their same weight each of already boiling sugar and water. Grate in ginger to taste. Simmer for a quarter of an hour or so.
  • some people boil them and use them to relieve sore throats

… and that is about it!


kumquat or cumquat

kumquats – unusual part of a sublime trinity of citrus, honey and chicken

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