Kumquats are believed to have originated in China, with their earliest historical mention appearing 12th century literature. They are most commonly cultivated in Asia, the Middle East, parts of Europe (mainly Greece), and in the southern United States, including Louisiana, Florida, and California. The fruit is shaped like a much smaller, more oval orange and it is hardier than its citrus kin, preferring hot weather but able to withstand low temperatures and frosts. Kumquats grow on small evergreen shrubs that bear between 30 to 50 fruits. The trees can also be hydrophytic, which means they can grow in aquatic environments, and the fruits will drift towards the shore during harvest season.

Kumquats are generally eaten whole; the outer, sweet rind is edible and offers a contrast to the tangy, inner flesh. The fruit is also often candied or preserved in salt or sugar. Some mixologists are even swapping kumquats for olives for a more modern twist on the martini.

In Season

January, February, March, April, October, November, December

Recipes with Kumquats

Articles about Kumquats

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.

July 02, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Rafael Zuniga

Rafael’s passion for good food stems from his work with children and youth.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »