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Someone Find Me a Quince February 13, 2008

Posted by KG in Etc., Food.

Kumquats.  They were prominently displayed at Whole Foods for $2 a box.  And of all the fruits and vegetables in the produce section, they were one of the few I had not eaten before.  Honestly, who can resist that sort of temptation?  Not me.

The only thing I knew about kumquats was that they were some sort of fruit with a funny sounding name that could score you 72 possible points in Scrabble.  And that’s about all there is to know until you eat one.  Then, if you’re as strange as I am, you become utterly captivated by a peculiar fruit that doesn’t seem to make any sense.  For one: they look like teeny little oranges.  And yet you eat them whole, rind and all.  The flesh? Ridiculously tart, while the rind (which I thought would be bitter) is almost too sweet.  That makes the experience of eating a kumquat rather different then other fruits, a progression from a quick hit of sweetness to overwhelming sourness and then,  just when your lips are pursed from the citric acid, back to sweet. 

I’ve been through the entire container of kumquats at this point, popping them one at a time randomly (having too many at one time ruins the fun).  And of course I went on a furious Googling spree to come up with other ways to serve them, like pickling.  That led to the inevitable side roads, where I learned that along with ketchup, kumquat is one of the few loan words to English from Cantonese (who knew?).

Produce: fascinating if you let it be. 



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