Kumquat (Golden orange) is a yellow - orange tropical fruit of the citrus family of evergreen plants. This fruit has other names-kinkan and Fortunella. Externally, kumquat looks like a very small oval orange.
In nature, there are several types of kumquat that differ in the shape of the fruit. They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs or low trees between 2.5 and 4.5 meters (8-15 feet) tall, with dense branches, sometimes with small spines. Kumquat is native to South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. It grows in southern China, as well as in Southeast Asia, Japan, the middle East, southern Europe (especially on the Greek island of Corfu) and the southern United States (especially in Florida). The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in Chinese literature in the 12th century. They have long been cultivated in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. They were imported to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune, a collector of The London horticultural society, and soon after were brought to North America. Kumquat is consumed both raw and processed (candied fruit, jam, marmalade, liqueurs). Use with the skin, since the flesh is sour, the skin is sweet with a slight bitterness. Kumquat is often grown as a houseplant.
When buying kumquat, pay attention to its appearance. The skin should have a rich orange color, be shiny, smooth and without visible mechanical damage, dark spots and cracks. Also, the fruit should be moderately soft. Excessive softness may indicate over-ripeness of the fruit, and firmness - immaturity. Store kumquat in the refrigerator in the fruit and vegetable Department for three weeks. But before this, the fruit should be thoroughly washed from contamination and dried, so that no moisture remains on the surface. If whole fruit or processed in puree is placed in the freezer at a temperature of -15 to -19°C, the useful substances can be stored for up to six months. Kumquat is widely used in cooking. In most cases, it is consumed raw and used to decorate dishes: salads, sandwiches, buffet snacks, cocktails, mulled wine and as a snack to strong alcoholic beverages. In heat-treated dishes, kumquat is used for preparing sweet and sour sauces for vegetables and meat, for meat or fish baked in the oven, as well as for preparing desserts: candied fruits, confit, juices, curd-yogurt casseroles, etc. The product is characterized by a fairly low caloric content, since 100 g of this fruit contains 71 kcal, but it is not recommended to abuse it too much, since it can provoke obesity due to the increased content of carbohydrates, especially in dried form. In 100 g of this kumquat – 284 kcal.
Kumquat contains a fairly diverse set of vitamins (C, A, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6), minerals (calcium, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc), fatty acids and essential oils. The high concentration of vitamin C in kumquat fruit makes it indispensable for improving the immune system and the overall resistance of the body to viruses and bacteria. Due to the content of fiber, pectin and natural enzymes, fruits are used to normalize the gastrointestinal tract, prevent gastritis and ulcers. Kumquat also has a positive effect on the nervous system. People who consume this fruit are less prone to depression, irritability, nervousness, and chronic stress. It helps to increase emotional sensitivity, get rid of apathy, and give strength for active activity, rather than passive existence. The fruit is used in the fight against parasites and fungi. Antifungal properties kumquat has due to the presence in its composition of furokumarina. It is this substance that helps fight inflammatory and infectious diseases.In Eastern medicine, dried kumquat peel is used to treat colds, flu, runny nose and cough. To do this, inhalation with brewed crusts is performed 2-3 times a day. This method of using kumquat allows essential oils to be released freely and absorbed as much as possible by the oral mucosa. Kumquat is one of the dietary products that help break down and eliminate bad cholesterol, cleanse the body of toxins, radionuclides and heavy metals. Cleansing of blood vessels from fat plaques, which occurs during the systematic use of kumquat, is an excellent prevention of stroke, heart attack and atherosclerosis.
It is not recommended to use kumquat for people suffering from high stomach acidity or kidney diseases, as it can provoke exacerbations of these diseases. It is also not desirable during pregnancy and lactation, as it can cause allergies in the child.