Kumquats are native to Southeast Asia, particularly China, Taiwan, and Japan. Today, kumquats are gathering steam as a popular fruit the world over, and in the US, production can be found in both Florida and California.
The kumquat is a member of the citrus family Rutaceae, which includes grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes.
A Little History
In the mid-1800s, the kumquat was brought to Europe from China by the botanist Robert Fortune.
The fruit of the kumquat tree is small with an olive shape and size, and golden orange in color. Popular in sweets and marmalades, they’re also eaten straight from the tree.
The kumquat was introduced to the US in the late 19th century, where it provided little but ornamental purpose until the influx of an Asian population developed an interest in this fruit for its consumption as a food.
The whole of this little package of sweetness can be consumed, like a grape, skin, flesh, seeds, and all. And, like the grape, the seeds can be discarded or eaten.