Kumquat Festival 2019
DOWNTOWN DADE CITY • Jan. 26, 2019 • 9am - 5pm
What is a Kumquat?
The word KUMQUAT is Chinese for
“Gold Orange” because of the color of the fruit.
Kumquats have been called “the little gold gems of the citrus
family”. They are believed to be native to China and were
included in the genus Citrus until about 1915 when Dr. Walter
T. Swingle set them apart in the genus Fortunella. (in honor
of the British horticulturist, Robert Fortune who introduced
the kumquat to Europe in 1846). “Cumquat” is the common
British spelling of the name for the fruit. There are four types
(species) of kumquats. They are the Hong Kong Wild (Fortunella
hindsii), Marumi (Fortunella japonica), Meiwa (Fortunella
crassifolia), and Nagami (Fortunella margarita). The
two most common species of kumquats grown in the United
States are the ‘Nagami’ and the ‘Meiwa’. Kumquats have a
very distinctive taste. It is the only citrus fruit that can be eaten
“skin and all.” The peel is the sweetest part and can be eaten
separately. The pulp contains the seeds and juice, which is
sour. When eaten together, you get a sweet and sour taste
which is unlike anything else. The seeds, however, should not
be eaten. They are similar to the seed of the orange and have
a distinctive green color. The seeds also contain pectin, which
can be removed by boiling for use in making jams and jellies.
NAGAMI - The Nagami or Oval Kumquat (Fortunella.
margarita) is the most common variety in the United States. It
was introduced into Florida from Japan in 1885 and has been
grown commercially in the “Kumquat Capitol,” Saint Joseph,
Florida since 1895. The tartness of the fruit makes them great
tree is shrub like and is similar to an orange tree in appear-
dark green leaves and brilliant orange fruit. The fruit lasts
for several months on the tree in warm winter climates. The
trees do very well when planted in the yard or in larger pots.
They can withstand temperatures as low as 28 degrees and
require about the same care as other citrus. They can be grown
throughout Florida, but produce larger and juicier fruit when
grown in the sandy soils on the hills of eastern Pasco County
in central Florida. The kumquat tree is highly resistant and
possibly immune to citrus canker.
MEIWA - The Meiwa or Large Round Kumquat (Fortunella.
crassifolia) is grown extensively in China. In Japan, it
is also called the ninpo or neiha kinkan. It was introduced into
the United States from Japan in 1910, but is still somewhat rare
here. Meiwa kumquats are more round in shape and are often
referred to as “sweet kumquats”. They have few seeds and are
best eaten whole. While they are very good to eat, it is not rec-
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