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In my experience kumquats are either loved, or hated violently. When I say violently, I picture the twisted, puckered face of the unsuspecting (usually front of the house people) taster. They usually have some choice words describing their displeasure. Those that love the citrus fruit can appreciate the contrasts of sweet rind and more sour centre.
In California, I had a kumquat tree, but didn't know what to do with the fruit. Since then, I have learned several ways to use them. As a demi-chef in England, I used them as a petit four plate garnish. I boiled and cooled them and rolled in sugar and when an order came in, I would sprinkle with powdered sugar and brulee with a torch in about three layers of sugar. They can be eaten raw, made into marmalade, used to infuse liqueurs and another 100 ways.
They seem to be found very seasonly in stores. It is a good thing to preserve some in various ways. Here is an idea of one such way:
Kumquats in Caramelised Tequila Syrup
300 g. sugar
100 ml. water
Make a caramel, quickly add:
4 oz. orange juice, warmed
Heat again to melt any clumps. Strain and add:
4 oz. tequila
Prepare 24 oz. kumquats by washing and cutting in half long ways. You may remove any seeds you see fit to. Try to preserve any of the juice and add to syrup. Poke several times on the rind side with a skewer. Arrange between 2 wide-mouth pint jars. Pour the syrup over, dividing equally between the jars. Macerate for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Use as a garnish for desserts. It is good with ice cream! I have another idea for them when they are ready, you can see that in the future.
More ideas from Kumquat growers Inc.
How do you eat a Kumquat?
****"And, of course, the funniest food of all, kumquats." ~George Carlin****