First things first, what are loquats, and what are kumquats? Loquats are fruits that belong to the Rosaceae family.
The loquat tree is large and evergreen. It produces small yellow fruits that grow in clusters. Kumquats are small citrus fruits that belong to the orange family.
They are mostly available between January and April. Kumquat’s origin can be traced back to Asia. Kumquat trees were typically used for landscaping.
Since loquats and kumquats have rhyming names, a lot of people tend to confuse one for the other. They have a few similarities, but they also have many differences.
This article will delve deep into the differences and similarities between loquat and kumquat. Let’s dive in.
Size and appearance
Both loquats and kumquats are small in size. When unripe, loquats and kumquats have a firm and crispy texture, but when ripe they have a juicy texture.
Loquats have seeds in the flesh that are inedible. They are hard and bitter and should therefore be discarded. Kumquats also have seeds, but they are edible. However, if you do not like their flavor you can remove them.
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Loquats have a tropical flavor with a tangy undertone. I can compare the taste to a mixture of apricot, pineapple, and pear.
The flavor of kumquats is similar to that of oranges, however, the peel is sweeter compared to the flesh. The flesh of kumquat is sour and tart, but the sweetness of the peel balances the flavor. The level of the tartness of kumquat depends on how ripe the fruit is.
Loquats are very versatile. Here are a few of their culinary uses.
- Eat them whole
Loquats make for an amazing snack as you can eat them out of hand. Although the skin is edible, I find it tasteless, so I prefer to peel my loquats before eating. Loquat seeds are inedible so remember to remove them before eating.
- Add them to your smoothie
You can add loquats to your smoothie. Not only will it taste better, but it will also be more nutritious.
- Add them to your fruit salad
Fruit salads taste better with loquats in them. I love loquats because they complement most of the other fruits.
- Add them to baked goods
You can bake loquats into muffins, cakes, pies, and other baked goods. You won’t be disappointed with how they’ll turn out.
- Make jam
You can use loquats to make homemade jam. The jam is flavorful and makes for the perfect spread.
Since kumquats are only available for a short period of time, I suggest you stock them any time you come across them. Here are a few culinary uses of kumquats.
- Eat them whole
Kumquats can be eaten out of hand. The best part is that there is no need to peel them before eating. The kumquat peel is actually much sweeter compared to the pulp itself.
Therefore, when eaten together the flavor is perfectly balanced. Kumquats have edible seeds as well, but if you prefer not to eat them you can always spit them out. I usually keep a bowl of kumquats on my kitchen counter for my family to snack on.
Before eating kumquats, rinse them thoroughly and pat them dry. I always prefer buying organically grown kumquats.
- Add them to your fruit salad
If you like fruit salads that have a tangy sweetness, add kumquats to the next fruit salad you make. They complement other citrus fruits and go particularly well with kiwis.
You can add a little bit of mint to the salad. It will give your salad that much-needed freshness as well as brightness.
- Add them to green salads
Kumquats are a great addition to green salads. Their sour tang complements the flavor of most greens that are available during winter. You should thinly slice, chop, or halve kumquats before adding them to your green salad.
- Bake them into a cake
You can incorporate kumquats into cakes. I’ve been doing this for a while and the results have always been amazing. There are two ways to go about it. You can either puree the kumquat and add it to your batter or use the kumquats as a topping for the cake.
- Make marmalade
Ever since I started making kumquat marmalade I have never looked back. Whenever I spread it on toast it gives me a delightful start in the morning. Making this marmalade is quite easy.
Simply chop kumquats and oranges finely, combine them with sugar, and boil until they form a thick paste. When stored in the refrigerator, this marmalade will last for two months. When frozen, it can last for six months.
Loquats can either be stored at room temperature or inside the refrigerator. At room temperature, they will last for seven days and in the refrigerator, they will stay fresh for up to one month.
Kumquats do not have a long shelf life, therefore, you should use them up as soon as possible. If you need to store them for a few days, place them inside a plastic bag and store the bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. They will last for approximately seven days.
Can you substitute one for the other?
Kumquats and loquats can be used interchangeably in several recipes. You might just need to slightly alter the mode of preparation.
Where to buy loquats and kumquats
When they are in season, the best place to buy kumquats is farmers’ markets. Well-stocked grocery stores and specialty stores also stock them.
Loquats are also a bit difficult to find. If you live in California, you can find them at farmers’ markets.
If you live on the East Coast you can get them at high-end grocery stores. Loquats on the East Coast are normally imported from Spain so they are a bit expensive.
Loquats and kumquats have a few similarities but they also have several differences. Both of them are amazing fruits that you ought to try out. I hope this article has cleared up any questions you had about loquats vs kumquats.