Kumquats! The Super-Freaky Superfood You Should Seriously Consider Checking Out

So I recently fell in love with the bizarre fruit known as the kumquat.  It's intensely tasty, plus it's nutritious and low cal.  It's sort of like eating little marmalade bullets, sweet and sour and bitter all at once, but with no jammy guilt or anything.

Yet kumquats must have really crappy social skills! Or the poor fruit hasn't figured out it needs some PR and marketing help.  Because even though I've always been vaguely aware they existed, I hadn't ever actually tried one until this year.

Kumquats are hard to find in stores, even in season. I finally scored some at a farmers market after a friend turned me on to them, approximately 50 years after I first heard of them.  (It didn't help that all these years I had them confused with loquats, which as kids we used to steal off neighbors' fruit trees and called them kumquats. But loquats are an entirely different fruit. Loquats are yellow and smooth-skinned and not citrusy, and have a big-ass seed in the middle. They are tasty too, if you have a nearby tree to steal from).

So, what's so awesome about kumquats anyway?

1. Kumquats are totally tasty and addictive.

Kumquats have such an intense citrusy sweet/sour thing going on, it's almost like candy if you know how to tone down the sour part (see below). And they come in tiny grape-sized fruits, so you can practice portion control if you have that ability.  You get a lot of little fruits to keep you entertained for a much longer time than you'd spend on one big boring fruit.

2. Kumquats are super nutritious.

Truly, I'm not making it up!

But it's annoying that it's hard to find a bunch of mainstream reputable nutritional authorities to back me on this. My usual go-to nutrition resources like World's Healthiest Foods etc don''t seem to give a damn about kumquats. They're just not popular enough to get all the "superfood" studies and press, even though they are, by all accounts, packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential oils, and various antioxidant, antimicrobial, cancer-fighting, inflammation-suppressing and immune-boosting compounds.

Can we get the scientists and scholars on this please? The whole kumquat nutrition thing needs a bit more attention, because only obscure kumquat sites seem to go into any detail. Yet there is kumquat research that mentions impressive nutritional data as though everyone already knows it.

3.  Kumquats are Weird and Freaky, But in a Good Way.

Yep, this fruit is counterintuitive, contrary, and crazy-assed... because the skin is awesome and the fruit within is decidedly less so. It's an inside-out, mixed up fruit, which makes it kind of adorable.

The skin, which looks like an orange, is sweet and delicious and totally edible. And the center of the fruit is quite tart and a bit bitter.

You can eat the whole thing, including the seeds within, but some find it too sour.

But the glory of the kumquat is that the fruit is totally customizable! Cut in half and squeeze out as much sour as you don't want to deal with.  If you like it tangy, eat it whole.

If not, squish and just enjoy the sweet part, you wimp.

(I too am a wimpy squisher).

Either way, you get the nutritional wallop of eating fruit skins, which people are always saying you should do because they are full of fiber and oils and mysterious compounds that are magical and way better for you than the fruit itself.

4. Are kumquats the same as cumquats?

Yes! Kumquats are also called cumquats, if you are European. But we're not going to have an extensive discussion about prefixes, ok? Let's see if we can prevent the totally wrong kind of googlers coming to visit.

5. What about kumquat calories?

I've seen sources say you get 7-8 kumquats per a 100 gram, 71 calorie serving, but those must be bigger kumquats than what I had in my carton.  I got 13 to enjoy in a 100 gram serving.

And if my food scale is f--cked up and underestimating everything I'm weighing? Please don't tell me. 

6. Where can I find kumquat recipes?

Most kumquat recipes seem to be instructions for jam, which makes sense since they taste like marmalade. But I'd rather skip all that sugar myself.

However, I came across a brussels sprouts with kumquat glaze recipe (which also features quinoa and feta cheese), which looked intriguing, as well as a kumquat-pimping site run by growers which had a whole bunch of kumquat recipes.

But in order to have enough for a recipe, I'd have to find them again and hold off eating them all at once so I could cook with them! And so far that just ain't happenin'.

Do any of you eat kumquats? Any recent food discoveries that have become addictions?

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