WTF are Kumquats?

Do you ever find yourself wondering how in the hell you’ve made it this far in life without knowing something that’s pretty obvious to other people? For example, have you ever been like this woman (see Act One) who found herself standing in a group of people asking them if unicorns were endangered or extinct? She totally missed the reality memo on unicorns. Annnd it’s kind of embarrassing when it happens to you.

Photo from
Photo from

Though this doesn’t compare to unicorns, for a long time I thought “casabas” was just another word for a giant boobs and not the mere honeydew melon that it is. So my semi-exotic domestic fruit knowledge has been a little lacking. That’s why, little by little, I’m filling some of those gaps. The exotic fruits tour we took in Colombia was pretty helpful in that department.

This weekend I finally got to bring another mythical word into existence. And that word is kumquat. I’ve heard the word, but never actually knew was it was. Until now. This happened during the short road trip we took last weekend, which, like any good road trip, put us shopping for produce at a large farm stand along the highway. There were bags of what looked like tiny oranges at the register next to a sign that said “kumquat.”

Yessssssss. Now I know what kumquats are. So WTF is a kumquat?

It’s this guy:

I asked the woman at the register how a person eats such a thing. She said, “all at once.” I’m thinking, I can eat lots of things all at once… like a giant bowl of popcorn or a whole bag of chocolates. So that didn’t explain what I was supposed to do with this little mini orange. So I asked for clarification and she said you just put the whole thing in your mouth. Since they look like tiny oranges, that seemed odd to me. But I just said “Oh. Okay,” and went with it.


When we got home, I tried one. Guess what! popping a kumquat into your mouth all at once is just like you might think popping a tiny orange into your mouth all at once would be like. It tastes like you’re eating an orange rind. With full-size orange seeds. Yum!?? Hmmm. Not my style. Fortunately, our neighbors seem to love these things, so we’re having a fire sale on the kumquats.

Q: What do you do with your kumquats (or other random food discoveries gone wrong) aside from give them away to your neighbors?

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