How to Store Kumquats

Storing kumquats properly ensures that you can enjoy their unique sweet and tart flavor for as long as possible.

As a small citrus fruit with an edible peel and a burst of sour taste, they’re both a healthy snack and a vibrant addition to various dishes.

Unlike their larger citrus relatives, kumquats require specific storage methods to maintain their bright orange color and distinct taste.

Kumquats in a wooden crate on a kitchen counter, with a mesh bag of kumquats hanging from a hook

At room temperature, place your kumquats in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight to extend their freshness for a few days.

However, if you’re looking to keep them for a longer period, the refrigerator is your best bet.

Ensure the kumquats are dry and place them in an airtight container; they’ll stay fresh for up to two weeks.

For long-term storage, freezing is an effective method.

Start by washing and thoroughly drying the fruit, then arrange them on a baking sheet without overlapping and freeze until solid before transferring to a freezer-safe container or bag.

Selecting Kumquats for Storage

A hand reaches for ripe kumquats, placing them in a wicker basket. A glass jar and airtight container sit nearby, ready for storage

When choosing kumquats for storage, select those that are firm to the touch indicating their ripeness and quality.

This firmness ensures that the fruit retains its structure and does not quickly degrade over time. The ideal kumquats should also feel plump, a sign they are juicy and at peak condition.

Inspect the kumquats for any blemishes or soft spots.

These imperfections can be indicative of damage or premature spoilage, so they should be avoided. Kumquats that are free from such defects will store much better and for longer periods.

There are two main types of kumquats to be aware of:

  • Nagami kumquat: Recognizable for its oval shape.
  • Marumi kumquat: Notable for its round shape.

Both types are suitable for storage, but ensure whichever variety you choose is unblemished and firm.

Quality CheckDetail
FirmnessAssures longer shelf life and freshness.
AppearanceShould be bright in color, indicating they are ripe.
BlemishesAvoid any fruit with marks, indicating damage or spoilage.

Remember, the better the selection at the beginning, the longer you can enjoy your kumquats. Store your carefully selected kumquats in the right conditions to maximize their shelf life and flavor.

Fundamentals of Storing Kumquats

A bowl of ripe kumquats sits on a kitchen counter next to a mesh bag. A refrigerator door is open, with a hand reaching to place the kumquats inside

Kumquats are a unique citrus fruit that require careful handling to maintain their freshness and flavor. Knowing the proper storage methods can greatly extend their shelf life and ensure they stay at peak quality.

Room Temperature Storage

You can keep kumquats fresh on your counter at room temperature for a few days.

Store them in a fruit bowl away from direct sunlight to maintain firmness and prevent over-ripening.

During peak season, room temperature storage allows the fruit to retain its natural texture and taste.


For longer storage, place kumquats in your fridge. Here’s how to do it properly:

  • Cleanliness: Ensure that the kumquats are dry and free from any dirt before refrigeration.
  • Container: Use an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag to reduce moisture exposure.
  • Location: Store them in the crisper drawer or on a shelf where the temperature is steady.

This method can extend kumquats’ freshness up to two weeks.

Freezing Kumquats

Freezing kumquats is an excellent way to preserve their quality for months. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the kumquats.
  2. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid.
  3. Transfer the frozen kumquats to a freezer-safe container, ensuring it’s sealed tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Alternative Storage Methods

Preserving kumquats in sugar syrups or converting them into jams, marmalades, or chutneys can greatly enhance their shelf life. To preserve them:

  • Simple Syrup: Dissolve equal parts of sugar and water, add kumquats, cook briefly, and cool.
  • Airtight Sealing: Store the syrup-covered kumquats in an airtight container in the fridge.

Preparing Kumquats for Storage

Kumquats are being washed and dried before being placed in airtight containers for storage

Proper preparation of kumquats is crucial for maintaining their freshness during storage. The process involves thorough washing, adequate drying, and deciding whether to store them whole or sliced, taking care to remove seeds if necessary.

Washing and Drying

Before storing your kumquats, it’s essential to wash them properly to remove any dirt and pesticides. Rinse the kumquats under cold running water.

After washing, ensure that each kumquat is dried completely to prevent any moisture-related issues such as mold.

Pat them dry with a clean towel or let them air dry on a clean surface.

Slicing or Keeping Whole

You have the option to store kumquats either whole or sliced.

If you choose to slice the kumquats, do so with a sharp knife, cutting them into uniform pieces. This could be convenient for future use in recipes or as a garnish.

However, if you plan to store them whole, proceed to the next step without slicing.

Removing Seeds

If you’ve decided to prepare sliced kumquats, your next step is to remove the seeds.

Use the tip of your knife or a small spoon to carefully extract any visible seeds from the sliced fruit. If you are keeping the kumquats whole, you can skip this step, as the seeds can be removed more easily just before use.

Utilizing Stored Kumquats

Stored kumquats, known for their edible skin and robust flavor, can be a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire. Here’s how to make the most of your kumquats whether you’ve kept them fresh or frozen.

Kumquats arranged in glass jars, labeled with storage instructions. A pantry shelf with labeled containers of preserved kumquats

Thawing Frozen Kumquats

To thaw frozen kumquats, place them in the refrigerator overnight.

For a quicker method, submerge them in cold water for a few hours, changing the water periodically to maintain a consistent thawing temperature.

Once thawed, pat them dry to remove excess moisture.

Cooking and Baking

Kumquats are a flavorful addition to both savory and sweet dishes. To incorporate them in cooking, consider dicing the fruit and adding them to a salad or roasting them alongside chicken for a citrusy twist.

For baking, sliced kumquats can be a tangy accent in desserts such as tarts and cakes.

Savory Ideas

  • Roast chicken with kumquats
  • Kumquat-infused salad dressings

Sweet Treats

  • Kumquat tart
  • Pound cake with candied kumquat

Making Preserves and Jams

Transform your stored kumquats into delightful preserves and jams that capture their unique flavor.

To start a basic kumquat jam, simmer the fruit in a saucepan with an equal amount of sugar until it thickens. The result is a spreadable topping perfect for toast, scones, or to swirl into yogurt.

  • Kumquat Jam: Equal parts kumquats and sugar, simmered
  • Kumquat Marmalade: Kumquats, sugar, and lemon juice

Creating Condiments and Fillings

Kumquats can be puréed into a tangy sauce or chopped to make a zesty chutney.

Blend with vinegar and spices to create a kumquat sauce, or mix with other fruits for a diverse filling. Their bright flavor and edible skin make them ideal for these uses.

Understanding Kumquat Varieties

A variety of kumquats arranged on a wooden cutting board with a knife. A glass jar filled with kumquats in syrup sits nearby

When storing kumquats, it’s important to consider the variety of the fruit as this may affect storage methods. Kumquats come in several types, each with its particular characteristics such as skin edibility, flavor, and firmness.

Nagami Kumquats

Nagami kumquats, native to Southeast Asia, are perhaps the most common variety found in stores. These small, olive-shaped fruits have a sweet edible skin that contrasts with the sour flesh. Given their firm texture, Nagami kumquats hold up well during storage.

Marumi Kumquats

Marumi kumquats are also native to Southeast Asia and are known for their round shape. These citrus fruits typically have a sweet flavor profile, which is appreciated both in their skin and flesh. Their size and taste make them versatile for various culinary uses.

Other Varieties

While Nagami and Marumi are the primary types of kumquats, there are other less common varieties that you may encounter.

Each of these may have subtle differences in sweetness, sourness, and texture, but like their more common cousins, they share the trait of having an edible skin. These varieties all contribute to the diverse family of kumquats that hail from the citrus-rich regions of Southeast Asia.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

A bowl of fresh kumquats on a kitchen counter with a sign displaying "Health Benefits and Nutritional Information" next to a pamphlet on "How to Store Kumquats."

Kumquats are a distinctive fruit, both sweet and citrus in flavor, and come packed with various health benefits.

These small, edible orbs are especially low in calories, which makes them a perfect snack if you’re watching your caloric intake.

Nutritional Breakdown
A 100-gram serving of kumquats contains roughly:

  • Calories: 71
  • Protein: 1.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.9g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Fiber: 6.5g

Vitamins and Minerals
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, kumquats are impressively rich.

  • Vitamin C: Vital for immune function and skin health.
  • Fiber: Important for digestive health.

A diet inclusive of kumquats can contribute to your intake of vitamin C and fiber, both crucial components of a well-rounded diet.

Quick Facts

  • Kumquats are rich in antioxidants, compounds that help protect your cells from damage.
  • The peel of the kumquat, which you can eat, is full of fiber, adding to the benefits of eating this fruit.
  • They are low in fat, making them a heart-friendly food choice.

Incorporating kumquats into your diet can add a refreshing taste and provide substantial nutritional benefits without a high calorie count.

With their rich content in vitamin C and fiber, they’re more than just a tasty snack; they’re a smart choice for maintaining your health.

Signs of Spoilage and Safety

A pile of moldy kumquats sits next to a refrigerator. A hand-written sign reads "Store in a cool, dry place."

When storing kumquats, recognizing signs of spoilage is crucial for ensuring their safety and quality. Be attentive to the following indicators:

  • Mold: Spotting any fuzzy growth or discoloration can point to mold. This is a clear sign that the kumquat should not be consumed.
  • Softness: While kumquats are generally firm, a soft texture may indicate spoilage, particularly if the fruit is also discolored or has an off-odor.
  • Damage: Damaged kumquats, such as those with cuts or bruises, can decay faster. Inspect your fruits regularly and isolate any compromised pieces to prevent spreading.

Maintaining your kumquats’ freshness involves proper storage:

  • Refrigeration: For longevity, keep kumquats in your refrigerator. This slows down ripening and helps prevent spoilage.
  • Direct Sunlight: Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Store them in a cool, dark place if not refrigerated, away from sunlight to prolong shelf life.
  • Long-Term Storage: If you plan for long-term storage, consider freezing. Clean and dry the fruit thoroughly, arrange them in a single layer to freeze, then transfer to a freezer-safe container.

Always ensure the kumquats are dry and ventilated to reduce the chances of mold formation.

Regular checks will help detect early signs of spoilage, enabling you to enjoy your kumquats while they are fresh and safe.

Seasonal Availability and Purchasing Tips

A bowl of kumquats on a kitchen counter, next to a stack of recipe books. A hand-written note with storage tips pinned to the wall

When you’re seeking fresh kumquats, timing is key.

Kumquats are generally in season during the late winter to spring months. Their peak season for freshness and flavor typically ranges from November to March.

  • Winter: Abundance in supply; the best time to purchase.
  • Spring: Still available, but the season concludes.

When selecting kumquats, look for bright, firm fruits with a glossy appearance. The skin should be free from blemishes or soft spots.

Smaller fruits are often sweeter and more ideal for snacking, while larger ones might be more suitable for cooking and preserving.

Purchasing Tips:

  1. Local Markets: Buying kumquats at farmers’ markets during the peak season may yield the freshest options, as they often come straight from local groves.
    • Pros: Freshest selection, supports local agriculture.
    • Cons: Availability can be seasonal and regional.
  2. Specialty Food Stores: If your local market doesn’t carry them, try specialty stores known for carrying a wide range of produce.
    • Pros: Could offer imported varieties.
    • Cons: Possibly higher prices.

Remember: Fresh kumquats can be stored at room temperature for a few days but keep better for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This will preserve their taste and prolong their shelf life.

Keep an eye on the calendar and stay connected with local vendors to make the most of kumquat season.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bowl of kumquats sits on a kitchen counter, next to a stack of recipe books and a jar of preserving jars. A hand-written note with "Frequently Asked Questions: how to store kumquats" is pinned to the

In this section, you’ll find concise answers to common questions about storing kumquats to maintain their freshness and flavor.

What is the best method for preserving kumquats long term?

The best method for long-term preservation of kumquats is to freeze them. This process retains their taste and texture for an extended period.

Can you freeze kumquats whole and what is the process?

Yes, you can freeze kumquats whole.

First, wash and dry them thoroughly. Arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer, and freeze until solid. Then, transfer the frozen kumquats to a freezer-safe bag or container.

What is the optimal temperature for storing kumquats in the fridge?

Store kumquats in the refrigerator at a temperature between 40°F to 45°F (4°C to 7°C) to prolong freshness.

How long do kumquats last once refrigerated?

When stored properly in the refrigerator, kumquats can last for up to two weeks. Ensure they are in an airtight container to maximize their shelf life.

What are some effective ways to use an abundance of kumquats?

Utilize a surplus of kumquats by candying them, making marmalade, incorporating them into salads, or using them as a tangy addition to baked goods.

After harvesting, what is the shelf life of kumquats?

At room temperature, freshly harvested kumquats can last for a few days.

If you store them in the refrigerator right after harvest, you can extend their shelf life to two weeks.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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