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What Does Kumquat Taste Like? And What To Do With Them

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The first time I saw those little oranges, the immediate question was, what does kumquat taste like? They look cute but are they worth buying ? Because they are quite expensive and hard to find in Romania.

I am curious about every single exotic fruit out there, but some of them are disappointing, like dragon fruit, while others, like persimmon, are good but not that special.

So I prefer, like you, to check online what other people think about the taste of the fruit before buying it.

In this article, I will let you know what I think about the kumquat taste as well as how you are supposed to eat it and what you can do with kumquats other than eating them raw.

kumquat taste

What does kumquat taste like?

The kumquat has a citrusy, sweet, and tart taste that is very close to the orange taste but just a bit more flavorful with a deeper taste.

The fruit is not as sour as oranges if completely ripe, but if not, it will be a bit sour.

Its taste is not so different from the other citrus fruits like mandarin, clementine, or oranges, but the fact that kumquat can be eaten with its peel makes it special.

Yes, you heard it right, kumquat peel is edible and actually sweet and tasty. The peel, as with other citrus peels, has some essential oils that will have a strong fragrant smell but taste as well, so the peel is edible, but the taste can be too strong for some people.

You can peel kumquats, but it is annoying because they are so small. The peel is very thin compared to the orange peel.

I ate kumquats with and without peel, the ones with peel are good, but it is hard to eat too many because of the peel taste that is too strong.

Kumquat variety

There are a few varieties of kumquats, but the most popular ones are Nagami and Meiwa.

Nagami is the one that I’ve tried, and it is actually the most well-known one, especially if you are not from China, where you can often find the Neiwa variety.

The Nagami variety is the one that is more oval than round and has a bit of a tart taste. From what I have researched, the Neiwa variety is sweeter than the Nagami and has a round shape, more like orange.

Read Also: Kumquat Substitute – 5 Ideas To Try Next

Uses of kumquat

As you can imagine, there are many uses of the kumquat since it is similar to an orange but even more convenient to use because you don’t have to peel it.

I will give you here some ideas, and also I have an article about how to store kumquats where I wrote a few ways of using it as well.

If you bought more kumquats than you can eat, you must check the article about storing kumquats since there are a few great ways of using them later.

-Chutney or marinades for meat. Due to its citrusy but sweet taste, kumquat works great as a chutney for chicken and works with duck breast or beef meat.

-Sliced and added to drinks. You can change that boring slice of lemon or orange from your favorite cocktail with a few slices of kumquat.

kumquat cocktail

-In Baking. The essential oil that you find in kumquat peel makes it perfect for a lot of cakes, tarts, or pies. But also can be used in baking bread. The good part when it comes to baking is that you can use the entire fruit if you want, you don’t have to peel it.

-Marmalade and jelly. As you would make orange marmalade, you can make kumquat marmalade and jelly without any extra steps or ingredients.

-Salad. Sliced kumquats will make a delicious salad if you combine them with the right ingredients. As I said before, it will work well with chicken, duck, or beef meat, but it also works great in a fruit salad.

How to choose kumquat

For having a great dish that contains kumquats or for simply eating them raw, you must make sure you buy the ones that are ripe and as fresh as possible.

Yeah, I know the fresh part can be tricky if you are not from a country where they grow naturally but don’t worry, they last for quite a long time if stored well and transported properly.

So here are a few things you must check before buying kumquats.

-The appearance. The color of a good kumquat is a bright orange that has no blemishes or brown spots. If somehow there are brown spots with a dried texture, you should not buy them. Also, make sure the color is strong, not pale.

-Firmness. The kumquats have to be quite firm. If they are mushy, it is a clear sign that they are going bad.

-Smell. The kumquats have a sweet, citrusy smell. The ones that are going bad will have a sour smell.


The conclusion is that kumquats have a sweet citrusy taste, and you can enjoy them without peeling, which makes them so convenient.

You should wash them before eating with peel because you don’t know what chemicals were used in order to make them last longer or where they were stored before you bought them.

I hope this article helped you and showed you all the ways you can enjoy this delicious fruit, other than eating it raw.

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