Seasonal shoutout Cumquats

This winter vegetable is as pretty as it is diverse!

July-readyBuy kumquats with bright, smooth skins – the skin is edible so kumquats with bruises or cuts on the surface won’t be as tasty. Be careful not to squash them with groceries; the skin is far more delicate than other citrus fruits.

DIYCumquats are surprisingly easy to grow in a large pot. The tree can grow up to approximately three metresand has fragrant white flowers in spring. The trees love sun, need feeding every six to eight weeks with fertiliser and frequent watering.

Eat upCumquats don’t have a long shelf life, so pick/buy them just before you want to use them. However, they will last in a paper or plastic bag in the fridge for a few days.

Straight off the treeCumquats can be eaten fresh (be warned, eating them this way may result in some serious mouth puckering!), in fruit salads or in crunchy winter salads. They are great used in stuffing for chicken, in meat marinades or in sauce for meats like chicken, duck or pork.

Sweet treatCumquats make an excellent marmalade, or stew them with cinnamon, sugar, cardamom pods and fennels seeds and preserved in a jar in the fridge. If you like your cocktails a little sour, cut the fruits in half and soak them in gin or vodka for a few days for a very tasty tipple.

Did you know?Though considered by many a citrus fruit, they are actually classified in the genus Fortunella.