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|Garcia Organic Farms|
The fruit of the Nagami kumquat tree grow in clusters. The fruits themselves are oval with a smooth pebbled surface. They ripen within a month from green to brilliant orange. Once mature, the fruit can reach up to 2 inches in length. Unlike citruses, the entire fruit is edible, although the few seeds buried in the flesh are recommended to be spared. The peel is where the true citrus sweetness lies in both aromatics and flavor. The flesh delivers a tart and juicy contrast, and if eaten whole, makes for a perfectly sweet-tart mouthful. Before disposing of or simply eating, consider saving the seeds, as they are a source of natural pectin.
Nagami kumquats are available in spring.
There are four varieties of kumquats, of which, two varieties are the most common: Nagami and Meiwa. Meiwa is considered to be the sweeter of the two, yet Nagami is the most commonly grown as it is a more vigorous, hardy and prolific producer. All kumquats used to be classified as a citrus up until 1915 when they were given their own Genus, Fortunella, named after horticulturist, Robert Fortune, who introduced the kumquat to Europe in 1846.
Nagami kumquats are entirely edible, making them versatile in both sweet and savory preparations. Though they are a natural fit in sweet applications, their sweet tart nature also lend heavily to savory recipes and ingredient pairings. Nagami kumquats can cut the richness of fat, allowing for complimentary marriages with butter, cream, bacon, avocado and rich cuts of meat. They pair well with citrus, nuts, seafood such as scallops and crab, chiles, mild and spicy salad greens, vanilla, white chocolate, cardamon, cherries, dates, cranberries and pears. Choice applications include salads, jellies, reductions, confections and ice creams.
Nagami kumquats are native to China, where they have been culitivated since the 121th century AD. They are more closely associated with Japanese culinary culture, though, and they have long been cultivated throughout Southeast Asia, where they are grown commercially today. The Nagami kumquat arrived in America via Japan circa 1855. It was planted primarily for ornamental purposes until a rise in Asian populations created a culinary market for the kumquat fruit. California and Florida are the best-suited growing regions within America. The fruit trees have also been naturalized in South America and the Mediterranean region where Nagami kumquats are grown and sold on a niche market scale as they remain in the shadows, still, of bigger and better known citrus.
Recipes that include Nagami Kumquats. One is easiest, three is harder.
|A Thought for Food||Cucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad|
|TasteBook||Kumquat-Poppy Seed Muffins|
|White on Rice Couple||Kumquat Marmalade|
People have spotted Nagami Kumquats using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.