Kumquats, or cumquats, are small citrus fruits that are often overlooked in favor of more popular oranges, lemons and limes during citrus season. Kumquats are round or oval and resemble very small oranges when ripe, though they are about the size of a large olive. They have a thin skin that, unlike the peel of an orange, can be eaten along with the pulp of the fruit. The pulp is quite sour, while the thin rind is surprisingly sweet, which makes for a nice balance of flavors when the fruits are eaten whole. That said, kumquats are still on the sour/tart end of the spectrum, so they are used much more often to make jams and baked goods than they are eaten plain.
If you happen to find a bag of ripe kumquats at your local grocery store or farmers’ market, you can can use them in salsas, chutneys or preserves. They can be sliced and cooked or candied. Candied kumquats make a wonderful addition to candies and desserts, bringing in a bit of color and a love sweet-sour flavor. They are also an interesting addition to cocktails, in place of your usual citrus options.