The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat kumquats. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What kumquat etiquette is

Kumquat etiquette is the set of rules to serve and eat kumquats properly. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve kumquats to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat kumquats at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to eat and serve kumquats

What you should know about kumquats

Kumquats are small, citrus fruits that are native to China but are now grown in many parts of the world, including the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Kumquats are oval or round-shaped fruits that are typically around 1-2 inches in length. They have bright orange skin that is smooth and shiny. The flesh of the fruit is tart and juicy, with a sweet peel that is edible. Kumquats have a unique flavor that is a combination of sweet and sour, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat kumquats

1) How to store kumquats

The ideal temperature to store kumquats is around 40-45°F (4-7°C). You can store kumquats in the pantry at room temperature for up to a week, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and in the freezer for up to six months.

Store sliced or cooked kumquats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

2) How to clean kumquats

To clean kumquats, simply rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with a towel. There are no known risks associated with cleaning kumquats, and no special tools are needed.

Kumquats that have turned bad will have a soft or mushy texture, a moldy or off-putting odor, or a sour taste.

3) How to prepare & cook kumquats

Kumquats can be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare kumquats for cooking, simply slice them in half and remove any seeds. Common appliances and utensils used to prepare kumquats include knives, cutting boards, juicers, and blenders. Some popular ways to cook kumquats include roasting, candying, and preserving.

They are also common in salads and sandwiches, and you can use them to make juice, smoothies, jam, and preserves.

Kumquats are suitable for vegans, keto, and paleo diets. There are no known allergies or food intolerances associated with kumquats, and there are no religious dietary restrictions that forbid eating them.

4) How to serve & present kumquats

Kumquats are appropriate for a variety of occasions, including formal and informal meals, breakfast, brunch, and snack time. You can serve them as a fruit course or dessert.

It is best to serve them chilled or at room temperature. You can present them on a decorative plate or bowl. No special serving tools are required.

You can serve kumquats with a variety of seasonings and accompaniments, including sugar, salt, honey, cinnamon, and ginger.

5) Food and wine to pair kumquats with

Kumquats pair well with flavors such as ginger, cinnamon, and honey. They can pair with a variety of fruits and vegetables, including berries, apples, and carrots. It is best to avoid pairing kumquats with bitter or overly sweet fruits and vegetables.

You can pair them with certain types of cheese and dairy, including goat cheese and cream cheese. It is best to avoid pairings with strong or pungent cheeses.

You can also pair them with certain types of meat and fish, including chicken, pork, and salmon. It is best to avoid pairing kumquats with overly spicy or heavily seasoned meats and fish.

The aroma of kumquats pairs well with a variety of wines and beverages, including red and white wines, sparkling wine, and beer. Some recommended wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

6) How to eat kumquats

When eating kumquat, it is polite to use your fingers to peel and eat the fruit. You can also use a knife and fork if you prefer. It is customary to eat the whole kumquat, including the peel, as it is edible and adds to the flavor. However, if you find the peel too bitter, you can discard it. It is best to serve kumquat in a small bowl or plate, with a small fork or toothpick to help remove the seeds.

Kumquat etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common kumquats etiquette mistakes:

  • 8/10. Not properly washing the fruit.

Additional information for properly serving kumquats

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

Kumquat contains about 13 calories per fruit and about 71 calories per 100 grams. It is a low-calorie fruit, making it a good snack option for those who are watching their calorie intake.

How to buy the best kumquats

A crucial factor in kumquat etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Kumquat is typically available from November to April, with the peak season being December and January. It can be challenging to find fresh kumquats outside of this season, but canned and dried options are often available year-round.

Choose the best

Kumquat can be available in commerce in a variety of ways, including fresh, canned, dried, and in juice form. Fresh kumquats can be found in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and specialty food stores. Canned and dried kumquats are available in many supermarkets and online retailers, and kumquat juice can be found in health food stores and specialty markets.

The most popular varieties of kumquat in commerce include the Nagami, Marumi, and Hong Kong kumquats. The Nagami kumquat is the most common type and is often used for cooking and making preserves. The Marumi kumquat is sweeter than the Nagami and is often eaten raw. The Hong Kong kumquat is larger than the other varieties and has a sweeter taste.

When buying kumquats, look for fruits that are firm, brightly colored, and free of blemishes or soft spots. The peel should be glossy and smooth, with no signs of wrinkling or shriveling. Avoid fruits that are too soft or have a dull appearance, as this may indicate that they are overripe.

Alternatives to kumquat

Some common alternatives to kumquat include other citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and limes. These fruits have a similar tart and tangy flavor profile and can be used in similar ways in recipes. Other alternatives may include berries, such as raspberries or blackberries, which offer a sweet and tart flavor similar to kumquat.