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When is a Kumquat Ripe?

Posted by Christine 
When is a Kumquat Ripe?
June 24, 2006 09:15PM
I have a kumquat tree that I planted in my garden last year; but I'm not entirely sure when the fruit is supposed to be ripe.

The fruit is about the colour and shape of a mandarin; but quite small - they're probably about 3cm across.

Mostly, I'm wondering if they're going to grow much lareger than they have so far, or whether I should look at picking them now.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
June 25, 2006 12:59AM
3cm is about right for size. I can't remember when I picked mine last year. According to Wikipedia "The fruit is considered ripe when it reaches a yellowish-orange stage, and has just shed the last tint of green" .This year my tree only has a couple on - I think it needs feeding as the leaves are quite yellow.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
June 25, 2006 01:57AM
I did a google for Kumquat as I don't know what they look like. Found this recipe on Burke's Backyard which sounds rather nice and thought you might be interested:

Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
June 25, 2006 03:24AM
Hmm, a kumquat is ready to eat whenever you can bear to partake of it.....

They're rather sour......

When the fruit is a nice orange/yellow, with no green left, then it's ready, but I don't know that you'd enjoy it even then.....

You should eat the whole thing - skin and flesh - to be proper. You'll find the skin is sweeter than the flesh and may choose to eat only the former......

I have a beautiful little kumquat tree in a rather large pottery pot. It's at least six years old and always covered in little kumquats. I have never eaten one though, knowing too much about their flavour.......but hang on a second, I'll brave the chilly cold front full of water from the sky and the deep blackness of the moonless night and go and pick a few.....................OHHHHH SHUDDER SHUDDER AND SHOCK - IT'S WORSE WORSE WORSE THAN A LEMON BY FAR!!!! Much screwing up of face! However, I can report four further things:

1. I was able to pull the fruit off the tree easily, which would suggest they are ready to pick (so, if you have to tug, then they're probably not ripe).

2. I would seriously advise against thinking that, because you have planted a kumquat, you can look forward to eating delicious citrus fruit from your own garden.

3. The skin (peel) is definitely sweeter and more edible than the flesh (Jennifer1 screws her face up once again at the thought of eating more flesh...).

4. A little kumquat tree in a ceramic pot, covered in little orange fruit virtually all year round, is a gardener's delight and a beautiful sight to behold. Just don't covet eating the fruit......

Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
June 25, 2006 03:32AM

Have a look at Dawns link - it looks like a very delicious sort of a thing to do with the fruit.



I was thinking about making marmalade; but that recipe looks fantastic (: (and much less work).

I have also read that a traditional way of using kumquats is to pack them in salt. I'm not entirely sure what you'd then do with the kumquats; but there you go.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
June 25, 2006 08:14PM
Being a sour old tart I really enjoy them finely sliced and chucked into all sorts of salads - meat, chicken, fish, vegetable. On other occasions I have made my salad dressing then finely chopped the kumquats into that and left them to steep and tossed the whole lot on the salad.

I seem to recall making a compote of them to go with roast duck once too.
In summary. I think they are just wonderful and have many uses.

If I had any tonight, I would slice them and place them under my roast lamb while it was cooking.

Or maybe make up some toffee and dunk them then let them do their business and roll in sesame seeds.

So there!! the sky really is the limit with these babies.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
June 26, 2006 12:00AM
I do a similar thing with my cumquats as the Bourkes backyard recipe but then let them dry out, toss insugar and use instead of bought peel in fruitcakes etc. Cumquat liqueur is also very nice. I haven't tried making it but we enjoyed drinking it in Turkey. I think the basic idea is to marinate them in vodka for ages then add sugar syrup to tatste.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
July 04, 2006 09:26PM
I have grown Kumquats since the 1970's, and I always pick them in August. They are tart and sour and tiny, but make delicious sharp marmalade, or conserve which I like the best. I cut them in half and carefully take out the pips (yes it takes a long time) and then just use the general marmalade measure from then on. A drop of brandy in the conserve at the end works magic too. Yes, they make a good liqueur, just use limoncello recipe.
Looked up the spelling and both versions are acceptable
kumquat and cumquat.
My tree started out in a pot, grew too big and now is very big in the garden. Pots need a lot of feeding.
Re: Kumquats are sour
November 21, 2011 01:31PM
I just wanted to let you know that while most kumquat trees that are sold are the sour kumquats..but that not all are sour. There is a sweet kumquat and the fruit is so very delicious! Mostly what you buy are Nagami Kumquats and the fruit is more of an oval nature. These are definitely the sour ones. The Meiwa Kumquat are the sweet ones and are completely round and look like miniature oranges. I would urge you to try them and it might change your mind about the flavor of Kumquats.

Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
December 08, 2011 01:22PM
great comments
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
December 08, 2011 03:26PM
My potted kumquat is full of fruit at the moment and the blackbirds are braving the verandah and flustering their way through the little tree, eating the fruit.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
March 19, 2012 08:21PM
I live in Florida and have a beautiful kumquat tree in my front yard. Beginning in mid-March they ripen. When they turn orange they are ready, however, if you leave them a little long, they get a little sweeter.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
April 05, 2012 09:55AM
Sounds like you don't have the Meiwa. It is sweeter than the Nagumi.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
April 05, 2012 09:57AM
Thanks. Great advice.
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
December 18, 2012 04:32PM
I live just below Birmingham Alabama and have a kumquat that I planted in the ground when it out grew its container. This year it is full of fruit in December, is this normal and should I allow the fruit to remain on until they fall off natually? Also, I read they can withstand drops in temperature to 18 degrees, but I cover mine with a tarp when it approaches 32, is this necessary?
Re: When is a Kumquat Ripe?
January 13, 2013 10:55PM
I live in Crestview, Florida, just 4 hours south of Birmingham. My kumquats ripen every year in December. I leave them on the tree until January. Most are walnut size and shape. Most are quite sweet with a few sour ones. I cover mine with a tarp when the temp is forecated to be below 32. Due to the unusual high temps this year I had a second blooming session so I currently have a lot of green fruit mixed with my orange fruit. I await their ripening and taste.
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