This week our great big box of kumquats arrived from Local Harvest. It was a box of sunshine delivered to a snowy world.
When I was growing up we had a kumquat tree in our yard. It was a small tree that struggled to thrive in the shade of a gigantic grapefruit tree. Each winter it produce a few pounds of fruit which I cherished for the few months it lasted. I’d eat them straight from the tree where they kept fresh, if they were unpicked, for several months.
My grandfather taught me how to eat them. Every year he and grandma came to visit for the month of January. We would sit in the swing and eat fresh picked tangerines and before he left we would always plant a garden. He and I were the only ones who liked the kumquats and I’m sure that is why they are special to this day.
If you’ve never had one, they are an unusual fruit. They are from the citrus family. You eat the whole fruit, skin and all. The fruit and juice are quite sour and the skin is sweet. It makes for a mouthful of flavor.
I have been craving them this winter. I found a few in California at a farmers market, but they were not very fresh and they rotted by the time I flew home. Having wet my appetite I decided I needed more. I placed an order for 5 pounds. Surely that would be plenty.
We have snacked on them all week ever since they arrived. Today I finally had time to do something with them. I made a batch of marmalade that I’ve been craving and I also decided to try candied kumquats. It turned out wonderfully. I even kept the extra syrup. It was so good I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it. Next year I know that I will need 10 pounds at least.
I wish we had a commercial kitchen so I could share with all of you. It’s definitely something I want to pursue. I am working hard on the store location this week. We have some favorable news from the zoning board so I hope to sign a lease this week. I’ll let you know as soon as it is finalized.