Kumquat Yum-quat: The Art of Eating a Kumquat


Kumquat Yum-quat Pumpkin Pie,
I’m writin’ rhymes and I don’t know why.

The word kumquat is just asking to be used in an Anna Banana jump rope rhyme, don’t you think? I can’t help but singing, “Kumquat Yum-quat Pumpkin Pie…”

Besides discovering kumquats’ alter-ego as an Anna Banana jump rope rhyme persona, I’ve also discovered that they make a very tasty snack while watching reruns on Hulu. Normally, one might plop down on the couch with a bowl of Jiffy Pop popcorn or a bag of Food Should Taste Good’s Multigrain chips (aren’t those addictive!) and commence the munching, mindlessly stuffing handful after handful into one’s mouth, completely engrossed in the birth of Pam and Jim’s baby on “The Office.”

But kumquats—those puckery, slightly bitter and yet so sweet little golden orbs—prove to be a far superior TV snack food than the aforementioned munchies. Small though the kumquat may be, eating one properly demands a specialized technique, it’s an art really. You can’t just pop an entire kumquat in your mouth and nosh away (well, you can and I know some people who do, but that’s beside the point).

First, you take one of these little beauties in your hand (see, it’s already different than eating popcorn where you cram your palm full of as many pieces as you can). Then you remove any remaining stem or stem hold-er-on-ers. Begin nibbling from the top, going around the kumquat in a circular motion. I don’t mean nibbling Looney Tunes corn-on-the-cob style, but nibbling slowly…savoring this tangy dwarf-sized citrus. Yes, the peel may be slightly bitter, but the kumquat aromas released from the zest will overpower any aversion you may have toward the bitterness. Next, you will come to the puckery part: the flesh. Dare to take a tiny bite of the juicy flesh. Don’t be alarmed if your face contorts at the sourness; it’s all part of the kumquat experience. Alternate between nibbling the peel and the flesh, being careful to not swallow the seed(s). With due pauses to enjoy the alternating bitter and sweet-sour flavors, eating the kumquat should take several minutes. Half an episode of “The Office” later, your kumquat will be tucked happily in your tummy.

And that, my friends, is the art of eating a kumquat, probably in much more detail than you cared to know. But hey, I was getting tired of the science of flour.

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