Since I grew up in Florida, I know that kumquats are harvested between October and February. Yet every year, my Georgia grocery stores have (a) never heard of kumquats, (b) don’t really know when the season is so they make something up, and (c) had one grower a year or two ago who shifted over to something else and so just wrote off ordering them from somebody else.
And apparently, my name is on some list of expat Floridians who hound grocery story produce departments every year. Can I buy a white grapefruit instead on the overly sweet pink? No. Can I find a satsuma anywhere? Er, we don’t know what that is, check at Home Depot.
And then there are kumquats, as far as I know, the only citrust fruit with edible peeling. They’re only an inch or two in size, so peeling them would be tedious. They have a wonderful tart/sweet taste. They make great marmalade.
So here’s what I want you to do starting inn October. Ask the produce manager of your favourite grocery store if the kumquats are in yet. If not–or if s/he doesn’t know what theyt are–ask when they will be in. Maybe this pressure will force more grocers to ask for them and more growers to keep growing them.
And just maybe, the produce manager you ask will have them and you’ll feel obliged to buy a sack. This could be a turning point in your life–discovering just how wonderful kumquats are.
Malcolm R. Campbell
Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing
Set in Florida where it’s relatively easy to find kumquats.
4 thoughts on “The yearly kumquat argument”
When we bought our house there was a kumquat tree right outside our kitchen windows. The boys used to eat them nonstop during season. When they were really little, they sat in the tree and ate them. Several years ago it grew too big – was pressing on the windows – and when we tried to transplant it, it died. I miss that tree.
Too bad the tree didn’t like its new location. We were too far north for much citrus, or I would have campaigned for a tree with kumquats.
Our grocery stores in Portland, Oregon carry kumquats during the winter. They are amazing.
I’m glad you can get them.
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