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Kumquats - The Little Golden Oranges

Updated on November 9, 2017

When Life Gives You Kumquats...

Kumquats are part of Citrus family, which includes limes, oranges and lemons. It's flesh is edible and has a close resemblance to an orange but its smaller and has an oval shape. It can be eaten deliciously as raw, preserves, jelly and marmalade. It originated in China dating to the 12th century where it is mostly cultivated. They were introduced to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune.

A Handful of Kumquats

Photo by kittyfantastico

an average Kumquat Tree

an average Kumquat Tree
an average Kumquat Tree


Kumquats are slow growing trees, shrubs or short trees from 2.4 to 4.5 meters (8 to 15 ft. tall) bearing small thorns. It can be cultivated in China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Japan, the Middle East, Europe (particularly in Greece and in Southern United States (preferably in Florida).

*An average kumquat tree produces 80 to 100 fruits per year. That's a lot. Amazing!

Kumquat Facts

Photo credit Exotic Fruit box

  • Kumquats are thought to be native to China. They are mentioned in Chinese literature as far back as the 12th century.
  • Look for kumquats with golden-yellow to reddish-orange skin. Avoid citrus with signs of decay.
  • Kumquat means gold orange in Chinese.
  • The most cultivated variety of kumquat in the United States is the Nagami variety. The Nagami kumquat is an oblong shape that can be up to 1¾ inches long. It is available from November to March from Florida and Southern California.
  • The name kumquat, which derives from Cantonese, gam gwat, Just the thought of the fruit brings out the worst of puns in me: kumquat may (come what may).
  • The ripe Kumquat/Cumquat symbolizes prosperity in Chinese.

Kumquat Recipe Links

Which Kumquat Recipe is your favorite in the list?

Whole Preserved Kumquats


4 quarts kumquats

3 cups water

3 cups sugar


1. Boil sugar and water for 10 minutes in a container to create a syrup.

2. Prepare Kumquats: with a sharp knife cut slits (1/2 inch deep) at right angles on the blossom end.

3. In a second container, cook the kumquats slowly in water about 10 minutes or until tender.

4. Drain and add to prepared syrup.

5. Add drained kumquats, simmer for 20 minutes (covered) and allow to cool (covered). Kumquats should be translucent.

Recipe Courtesy of Kumquat Growers

Kumquat Mojitos Recipe

Kumquats are perfect for mojitos, juices and cocktail drinks. Enjoy these simple Kumquat Mojito Recipes.


2 Kumquats cut into halves

6 mint leaves

1 ounce calamansi concentrate, thawed

1 1/2 ounces light rum

Club soda

Lime wedges

How To Do:

In a highball glass, muddle the kumquats, mint and calamansi concentrate (or the fruit juices and simple syrup). Fill with ice. Add the rum and a little soda. Pour into a shaker, shake well and strain back into the glass. Squeeze the lime wedges in the drink and drop in the glass. Finish with a splash of soda.

*Calamansi concentrate can be found at Philippine markets.

Note: To make simple syrup, boil 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. This will make a little more than 1/2 cup.

Recipe Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

How To Prepare Kumquat for Cranberry Sauce

Kumquat Tea

Hot or Cold?


10 kumquats

Honey or rock sugar (optional)


1. Wash kumquats well - do not peel.

2. Slice in half.

3. Squeeze most of juice from each piece into the pot, then toss the fruit in.

4. Pour boiling water into pot, steep for a few minutes and serve.


For a sweeter drink add honey or rock sugar to taste. Also makes a nice iced drink, but if you are looking to relieve a cold, always drink it hot.

Recipe Courtesy of Eating China

Kumquat Facts

According to traditional Chinese medicine, kumquat helps eliminate phlegm and is a good remedy for a sore throat or a nagging cough.

Kumquat Oatmeal Cookies can put it in a jar!


2/3 cups margarine

2/3 cups brown sugar

2 large eggs

1-1/2 cups oatmeal

2/3 cup white chocolate chips

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2/3 cup chopped kumquats (pureed)


*Beat margarine and sugar until fluffy.

*Add eggs to the mixture and mix well.

*Combine oatmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. Mixing well.

*Add chopped kumquats and chocolate chips.

*Drop by large teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.

*Bake 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown.

Recipe Courtesy of Kumquat Growers

Kumquat Salsa Recipe


* 2 cups chopped cleaned and thinly sliced kumquats

* 1/2 cup chopped red onion

* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

* 3 Tbsp olive oil

* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

* Dash of cayenne pepper

* Pinch of kosher salt


Combine all ingredients. Add more or less red pepper and cayenne to desired heat. Let sit for 1 hour for the flavors to more fully blend.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of salsa.

Great served with steak or seafood such as halibut, black sea bass, or salmon.

Recipe Courtesy of Simply Recipes

Meiwa Kumquat generally eaten fresh, skin-on, and instead of cooked.

Meiwa Kumquat generally eaten fresh, skin-on, and instead of cooked.
Meiwa Kumquat generally eaten fresh, skin-on, and instead of cooked.

Kumquat Videos

How To Make Kumquat Soap

All you need to have:

Distilled water, soy oil, palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, sodium hydroxide, shea butter, olive oil (pure), castor oil, stearic acid (from palm oil), kumquat fragrance oil and yellow 5


Cold Process Method: This is the method you will be using if you are making soap at home. Basically, soap is made using oil or any animal fats. I recommend using coconut oil. See my coconut oil lens to see why. These oil or fats are blended with lye that has been diluted by water.

Boiled Method: Soap are prepared in a large container. It is then boiled neutralization and its by product is glycerin, which companies extract and sell as a separate product.

Transparent Soap. This kind of soap is very drying. Solvents such as alcohol are added to prevent crystals from forming when the soap cools. It contains no glycerin, despite the fact that it is called glycerin soap.

Malt and pour soap: This is equal to making soap using soap. Basically it is produced by solidifying liquid glycerin using plastizer chemicals. These soaps are toxic AND expensive.

Kumquats - The Little Golden Oranges by Naiza Oclares is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

© 2009 NAIZA LM

Kumquat Guestbook - Did you learned something new about Kumquats?

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    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 5 years ago

      My neighbor grows kumquats and always gives me a basket of them. I'm glad I found your recipes.

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      I learned that now I'm going to have to check out the grocery store for some!

    • Nunadenisa LM profile image

      Nunadenisa LM 5 years ago

      I tried this fruit for the first time this summer when i passed by a tree that smelled amaizing, you eat the fruit with skin, it tastes so good, i wish i could have the fortunella tree inside my house only for the smell.

    • profile image

      BradKamer 5 years ago

      I have never tasted a kumquat, though your lens has opened my eyes to wanting to try some. I like most citrus fruits so these look colorful and tasty. Good job on your lens.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I've never had a kumquat. Next grocery store visit I will be in the produce section looking for kumquats.

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 5 years ago

      I love kimquats! Every year we make (or we try to) make candied kumquats, stuffed with pecans and rolled in sugar. Sweet and sour. This lens is really a work of art! Thanks!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 5 years ago

      I love kumquats!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Fantastic recipes. I'd really like to make the kumquat soap. Thank you!

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for the recipes!

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I've always liked kumquats. Thanks for some great ideas here...oatmeal kumquat cookies sound delicious...also the salsa....and kumquat soap

    • whats4dinner profile image

      whats4dinner 5 years ago

      I like how refreshing Kumquats are.

    • profile image

      oiloflife 5 years ago

      You covered the subject very thoroughly. Excellent advice.

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Yum! I like kumquats ... and I see them in our stores here quite frequently (usually in the Asian markets, but also nowadays in our local neighborhood markets). Congrats on a Squidoo masterpiece!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Ooooo. I want to try making kumquat soap! Blessed!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      The oatmeal cookies are now on my list of things to try; they look wonderful!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      Those Kumquat Oatmeal Cookies sound delicious!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I had no ideas all the things you could do with kumquats! Fun lens. Thanks!

    • virtualboy profile image

      virtualboy 6 years ago

      This lens is awesome and I give it two thumbs up. It tells you everything that you wanted to know about kumquats. I love kumquats and don't care how their fixed.

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      ...and now I know what to do wth kumquats. The tea looks interesting, I'm always in the market for a new style of tea to try.

    • profile image

      duidku1 6 years ago

      Great lens and stuff here. Thank's for sharing

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    • profile image

      Michelle61 6 years ago

      I never knew what to do with kumquats! Thanks

    • profile image

      bulululu 6 years ago

      This fruit very good to made juicer with Jack lalanne Thanks for share great lens.

    • justDawn1 profile image

      justDawn1 6 years ago

      I've seen them but had no idea what to do with them! Thanks for all the info! :)

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 6 years ago

      Occasionally, we get to savour Kumquats

      They are grown in our north-eastern parts

      We eat them raw when we get them fresh

      Or pickle them for later, both rind and flesh!

      Three cheers to Kumquat ... and your lens.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      Oh, my, those recipes look delicious, especially the Kumquat Tea and Kumquat Oatmeal Cookies. Yum. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      good lens..............

    • profile image

      tebor79 6 years ago

      My mom hasa kumquat tree. she eats peel and all.

    • ChrisShaefer profile image

      ChrisShaefer 6 years ago

      I love kumguats, They are excellent eating and good for you. Oh yea and they are cute!!!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 6 years ago

      My kumquat tree is starting to bear a good crop again, so it looks like this year I will be making kumquat preserves for my dad again - he loves them soooo much, eats them like marmalade!

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Love kumquats but never knew they had such an impressive history - thanks for the education.

    • dawngibson lm profile image

      dawngibson lm 6 years ago

      I did not know that there were so many uses for them.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      What a fabulous informational lens. I love the Kumquat Oatmeal Cookies recipe! Thanks Also great photos.

    • profile image

      blanckj 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for the kumquat facts. I've always heard of them but didn't even know what they looked like. Now I know a little history and even some remedies. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome lens on one of my favorites! Blessed by a squidoo angel on 6/3/2011. Have a great day!

    • marckq profile image

      marckq 6 years ago

      Almost like kiat kiat but not quite :)

    • KANEsUgAr profile image

      KANEsUgAr 6 years ago

      Kumquat is definitely an under appreciated produce. Great recipes, cant wait to try them. Thank-you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Nice Squidoo. Very interesting and enjoyable to read. Chris

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 7 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I love the photos on this page!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 7 years ago

      very nicely presented and great recipes. I knew a bit about kumquat before, have eaten it, but now I know a great deal more! Well done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for nice imformation on your site. I liked the content provided by you which proves your professionalism. I will be back to check for more posts daily. Good job. Keep it up.

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    • profile image

      mayorlan 7 years ago

      Great lens and stuff here.Keep it up

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    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 7 years ago

      I can't wait to try the kumquat salsa recipe. Thanks, you're great.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 7 years ago from Vancouver

      This is a perfect example of how to create a lens. I love how you made it a pleasure to scroll and visit each module. Blessed.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens... I planted a kumquat tree in a pot and it's doing very well. Squid Angel Blessed.

    • CounselMom profile image

      CounselMom 9 years ago

      Please consider adding your lens to the new Citrus Headquarters group at:

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      What an excellent lens.

      You have been Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 9 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Wow! What a lens! You did it again... what a wonderful lens (and you did a lot of work on this one!). Definitely 5* and I've favorited it as well. I need to continue work on my mess of lenses... I don't know how you manage to keep up with all these--but you are doing a magnificent job.

    • profile image

      poutine 9 years ago

      Hum....I've got to try those little fruits sometimes, it sounds very tasty.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 9 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Kumquat Salsa? I've got to try that!