Just when we thought we knew all there was to know about kumquat varieties, we discovered limequats at our local farmers' market.
The small, yellow or green limequat is a cross between the lime and the kumquat. Like a kumquat, biting into a limequat – peel and all – for the first time can be startling. (Though perhaps less so, as the color already suggests a flavor more akin to sour lemons and limes than to sweet oranges.) After the initial mouth-puckering rush of tart juice and pulp, the flavor grows more complex with the taste of floral-sweet peel and just a hint of bitterness. We didn't expect to become so enamored of these little yellow fruits, but they are quite exceptional.
In general, we would consider limequats too tart to eat out of hand. As opposed to plain limes, however, we would always use them for more than just their juice. We can imagine including the whole fruits in jam, chutney, and most recipes that call for kumquats. Here are a few recipes that specifically use limequats:
• Limequat Curd, from Kahakai Kitchen
• Limequats & Kumquats Jam, from Delicious Days
• Limequat, Lemonquat & Kumqat Margarita, from Kirsten's Home Cooking
When shopping for limequats, choose fruits that are firm and fragrant. The color can range from bright yellow to orange-y yellow to green. Store limequats at room temperature for a few days or in a bag in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.
Seasonal Spotlight: Kumquats
Farmers' Market Report: Kumquats
(Image: Emily Ho)