Corfu’s little golden orange!

Wonderfully sweet and tangy, kumquat fruit is a winter/spring season delicacy. Although kumquats taste just like citrus fruits, they are distinguished in a way that they can be eaten completely including the peel.

Kumquats originate from the Southeastern parts of mountainous China and they are grown for their delicious fruits and as ornament tree. On the interior, the fruit resembles a tiny orange with juicy segments firmly adherent each other and with the rind. The pulp has 1-2 seeds placed centrally.

Kumquats are eaten along with the peel, a unique feature that differentiates them from other citrus family fruits. The peel is rich in many essential oils, anti-oxidants, and fiber.

Kumquat has calorific value equivalent to that of grapes. 100 g of fresh fruits provide only 71 calories. Nonetheless, they are incredibly rich sources of health-benefiting dietary fiber, minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium, and zinc, vitamins A,B, C and E, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards wellness.

Kumquats where brought to Corfu by the British (Botanist Sidney Merlin, to be precise) in 1860. It seems that the plant liked the Corfiot climate and the people of Corfu liked its taste and aroma. Nowadays, kumquats are mostly grown in northwest Corfu, especially near the village of Nymfes. Kumquat liqueur has become a trademark of Corfu. The kumquats of Corfu are established of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the laws of EU.  

Kumquats must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree before they are picked. They can be enjoyed fresh, added in salads and as a garnish. Moreover, kumquats make excellent marmalade, preserves and spoon sweets.


Kumquats taste best if they are gently rolled or squeezed between the fingers before being eaten, as this unifies the ingredients in the thin rind and tart pulp. Eat kumquats as you would eat grapes or olives with the peel.

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