This unique winter citrus towers above the crowd―despite its small size and funny name.
Credit: Photo: Anna Williams

With a sweet skin and a tart flesh, the kumquat stands out among other winter fruits.

A little trivia

  • A popular Asian citrus fruit, its name translates roughly as "gold orange" in China.
  • Dade City, Florida is the proud home to an annual kumquat festival.
  • Because of their brightly colored skin and unique shape, kumquats make an excellent addition to a fresh centerpiece at the holiday table.

What they look like: Tiny and oval-shapped, the kumquat is about the size of a large cherry.

Selection tips: Choose firm kumquats that are bright orange in color; avoid those with a greenish tint.

Storage tips: Kumquats generally keep at room temperature for up to three days; they can last up to two weeks in the fridge.

How to eat them: Go ahead, you're supposed to eat the whole thing―skin and all―though you may want to pass on the seeds. Kumquats are often found in preserves or in fruit salad. They make a nice addition to chutneys or marinades for beef, pork, or chicken. Kumquats are also available canned.

Peak growing season: November to March are ideal growing months for this fruit

Health benefits: Kumquats provide potassium and vitamins A and C. They're also a good source of fiber.

Nutritional info per 100 grams: 63 calories, 6.6 grams of fiber, 0.9 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat (saturated), 6 milligrams of sodium, and 0 cholesterol.