Nordmann Seedless Nagami Kumquats
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Nordmann Seedless kumquats are a small to medium-sized varietal, averaging 4 to 5 centimeters in length, and have a distinct oval to teardrop shape with a bulbous, curved base tapering to a narrower stem end. The fruit’s peel is thick, smooth, and golden yellow to yellow-orange, covered in oil glands giving the surface a pebbled, textured appearance. Underneath the peel, the pale-yellow flesh is aqueous, pulpy, and tender, being found seedless. Nordmann Seedless kumquats are aromatic, releasing a refreshing, sweet, and slightly floral fragrance and the peel is sweet while the flesh is acidic, creating a sweet-tart, balanced flavor. The entire kumquat is edible, and the sweet and tangy fruit also has bright citrus-like notes combined with subtle apricot and woody nuances.
Nordmann Seedless kumquats are available in the late winter through early spring.
Nordmann Seedless kumquats, botanically classified as Fortunella margarita, are a seedless cultivar belonging to the Rutaceae family. The teardrop-shaped fruits were discovered in the late 20th century in Florida and are a natural mutation of the well-known Japanese variety nagami kumquats. Nordmann Seedless kumquats were selected for their seedless nature, a trait that also gave the fruits slightly thinner, lighter-colored skin compared to nagami. Citrus enthusiasts favor the variety for cooked preparations as the fruits have a flavor reminiscent of nagami without the tedious nature of needing to remove the seeds for jams, preserves, and marmalades. Nordmann Seedless kumquats grow on compact evergreen trees, and the fruits hang in ornamental, brightly colored clusters. The trees can be cultivated in containers as a decorative landscape plant and produce high yields of fruits that can be consumed fresh, cooked, or preserved.
Nordmann Seedless kumquats are a good source of vitamins A and C to maintain healthy organ functioning, strengthen the immune system, and reduce inflammation. The fruits also provide fiber to regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and other nutrients, including iron, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin E. The peel contains essential oils such as limonene and flavonoids that offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nordmann Seedless kumquats have a balanced, sweet-tart flavor well suited for fresh, cooked, and preserved preparations. Kumquats are valued for their zesty taste, chewy nature, and pop of refreshing juice when consumed raw, and the entire fruit is edible. Roll the small fruit between both hands, pressing gently to release the essential oils in the skin, and then eat whole. The kumquats can also be halved and tossed into salads, quartered and mixed into fruit bowls, or sliced and layered on top of roasted meats, fresh cheeses, toast, ceviche, and slaws. Nordmann Seedless kumquats have a flavor similar to nagami kumquats and can be utilized in any recipe calling for the Japanese variety. The kumquats can also be used as an edible garnish over desserts, or the juice can be incorporated into ice cream, cakes, cookies, and panna cotta. One of the most popular preparations for the seedless fruit is simmering them into jams, jellies, and other preserves. The kumquats are also candied and eaten as a standalone treat or garnished over seafood, cheeses, and desserts. Nordmann Seedless kumquats pair well with vanilla, chocolate, honey, fruits such as lime, cranberry, blood oranges, and pears, cucumber, herbs including mint, rosemary, and basil, and spices such as cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. Whole, unwashed Nordmann Seedless kumquats will keep for 1 to 2 days at room temperature and 1 to 2 weeks when stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Nordmann Seedless kumquats were named after their founder, nurseryman George Otto Nordmann. George Nordmann studied horticulture in college and started his career working in the family business, the Ben J. Nordmann nursery in DeLand, Florida. Nordmann’s cousins operated two DeLand nurseries, and while George worked at the Ben J. Nordmann nursery, he was awarded Young Farmer of The Year in the late 1950s. George went on to discover the seedless nagami kumquat mutation, working with his family to propagate the variety for commercial cultivation. The Nordmann Seedless kumquat was George Nordmann’s most famous horticultural discovery. After his nursery career, George Nordmann became famous in 1998 for a curious incident that received nationwide coverage. George had moved to Andrews, North Carolina, and established a health food store, following his passion for helping others create healthy lifestyles. George was known in the community as an ally to many. On July 7th, 1998, his neighbor Eric Robert Rudolph confronted George at his home and requested food and supplies. Eric Robert Rudolph was currently a fugitive on the run for committing several bombings across the United States, including the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Rudolph was a part of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives list for several years and startled George Nordmann when he appeared on his doorstep. George initially agreed to help Rudolph but then changed his mind, sleeping at his store in fear of encountering Rudolph again. When George returned home, Rudolph had broken into his home and stolen over 50 pounds of food and George’s truck, leaving George five $100 bills as payment for the stolen items.
Nordmann Seedless kumquats were a natural mutation found growing on a nagami kumquat tree in an orchard in DeLand, Florida. George Otto Nordmann discovered the seedless fruits in 1965 as he was growing citrus seedlings to generate virus-free budwood. Nordmann propagated the seedless fruits and extracted budwood from the original tree before it died in a freeze. The budwood was grafted onto carrizo citranges at Nordmann’s cousin’s nursery in DeLand, known as the Ben J. Nordmann nursery, and the trees were situated at the front of the nursery. The nursery sold the kumquat trees as home garden plants. In 1997 the nursery was sold, but it has been reported that the trees were still alive on the property as of 2009. Budwood was also given to the Florida Bureau of Citrus Budwood Registration and was later given to the California Clonal Protection Program in 1999 as the demand for kumquat varieties was increasing throughout California. Today Nordmann Seedless kumquats are primarily cultivated in California and are a specialty variety grown on a small scale among citrus enthusiasts. The trees are also planted in home gardens and sold through farmer’s markets and distributors.
Recipes that include Nordmann Seedless Nagami Kumquats. One is easiest, three is harder.
|White on Rice Couple||Kumquat Marmalade|
|A Thought for Food||Cucumber, Avocado and Kumquat Salad|