When you think of a citrus fruit, typically you think of a lemon, a lime and of course a juicy orange.
Without a doubt they are the most common citrus fruits used in the home, and within recipes and restaurants around the world.
However there are some other incredible fruits that are members of the citrus family that need their own shining light.
Without further-ado, let’s turn on the spotlight and introduce the Kumquat, the Pomelo, the Limequat and Buddah Fingers.
Have you heard of any or all of these fruits?
Each of these incredible fruits needs its own stage to shine. They have special flavors, textures, nutritional benefits, uses and need to be enjoyed when ever and where ever possible.
Nutritional Benefits of a Kumquat
- Kumquats are very low in calories and fat and are full of Vitamin A, B and C, Calcium, and Potassium
The kumquat is a round fruit with orange skin. Originating in China, the Kumquat is now grown all around the world and is available from Israel to Spain.
It is often referred to as a ‘Chinese Orange’, and it is known to be the smallest and the weirdest of all the common fruits in the citrus family.
What does a Kumquat taste like
The kumquat is a uniquely tasting fruit. It is bitter; inside and out.
The skin of the kumquat is thin and is edible however has a bitter taste. The inner fruit is also bitter and has a tartness to it.
Given this, you’d be probably thinking why do people grow kumquats and why would people want to eat them? Surprisingly they are very nutritional and versatile.
How to store a Kumquat
A kumquat is best enjoyed when the skin is orange. An unripe fruit, which is still green, can be stored in room temperature to ripen naturally.
How to best enjoy a Kumquat
As the skin of the kumquat is edible, you can basically pick one up, give it a wash and bite into it like you would an apple. It won’t taste as delightful but nevertheless it is fruit. And fruit is good for us.
If you are not keen on eating a kumquat fresh from the tree, it is also enjoyed in salads and as a fruit with desserts. Its bitterness/tartness is balanced out by a sugary dessert. A rich dark chocolate mousse dessert would welcome a contrasting flavour, for example.
If you are still not convinced, why not just buy a kumquat tree as an ornament. Their lovely scent, leaves and flower make a lovely garden plant.
If cooking is your preference, kumquat jam is very popular.
Nutritional Benefits of a Pomelo
- Fibre, Potassium and Vitamin C
A pomelo looks like a pear and a grapefruit mixed together and is often referred to as a ‘cinese grapefruit’. Its size is a standout. Generally around 15-25cm in diameter, the pomelo is the largest fruit in the citrus family.
Native to Thailand and Malaysia, the thick skin of a pomelo can range in color from a yellow to green. The inner flesh of the pomelo resembles a grapefruit with its large segments and pale color.
What does a Pomelo taste like
The pomelo is known for being very juicy. The flesh is pale in color, generally white, but can often have a slight tinge of pink to it, similar to variations in a grapefruit.
Its taste mirrors that of a grapefruit also. Often sour, with a bitter twist. The more pink the flesh the more sweetness to the fruit.
How to store a Pomelo
A pomelo is yellow when at its ripest point. Until that time they can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week.
How best to enjoy a Pomelo
The best way to work with a pomelo is to consider it like a grapefruit. Cutting it in half will reveal its segments which you can then cut out for use. The skin is very thick and not to be eaten ‘raw’ however as with other citrus fruits such as the orange, lemon and lime the skin can be candied and enjoyed separately.
Due to its bitter flavor, a pomelo is generally juiced and used in preparation of jams or added as a citrus flavor when making a freshly squeezed juice.
Nutritional Benefits of a Limequat
- Fiber and Vitamin C.
When we say limequat, what does it sound like? If you said a cross between a lime and a kumquat you would be correct. This amazing citrus fruit is native to China yet is available all the year round from Peru to Israel.
The limequat takes on the shape of a kumquat, a round, almost oval shape fruit, yet is has a thick green skin which resembles the lime.
What does a Limequat taste like
Despite its association to the lime and kumquat, a limequat has a yellow flesh that actually tastes bitter-sweet. The thick green skin is sweet itself and the flesh has a more bitter taste and contains seeds which are edible.
How to store a Limequat
Always keep a limequat in the refrigerator
How to best enjoy a Limequat
With the skin of a limequat having a sweet flavor, you can actually eat it whole. Be sure to wash it first and make sure you only select those with a firm skin. If you are not fond of eating thick rind-like skin, simply scoop out the sweet flesh, juice it or add it to a salad, a sauce or make a marmalade.
Its slight bitter taste means that it can be substituted for a lemon or a lime also. Slice it as a garnish and add it to a dessert to add a unique tang.
Did you know?
Limequats are said to work as an aphrodisiac. Imagine how potent it would be if you match them with oysters!
Nutritional Benefits of Buddha Fingers
- Calcium, Fibre and Vitamin C.
Believe it or not, the buddha finger is a proud member of the citrus family. It does however have the stigma of being the fruit with the most unusual features.
Native to India, this fruit is also available in the middle east.
Each ‘hand’ of the buddha finger can have any number of ‘fingers’. Sometimes only a couple, often more than 20.
In addition to its unique appearance, unlike other fruits in the citrus family, Buddha fingers do not have a bitter core or seeds.
What do Buddah Fingers taste like
Just by looking at this fruit you will quickly notice that there is not much to it so as expected, there is not much flesh inside each of the fingers. The skin is thick and is not edible however the inner flesh is despite it not being juicy at all. It has a flavor and aroma similar to a lemon.
How to store Buddha Fingers
Buddha fingers should only be consumed if their skin is firm and unblemished so care must be taken not only with their selection but their storage. They should be refrigerated at all times and consumed within a day or two.
How best to enjoy Buddha Fingers
The skin of buddha fingers is not to be consumed so after washing them, peel them as you would an apple and then you can use the small piece of remaining white flesh in a number of ways.
Some eat it raw in a dressing or sliced into a salad, and given its strong citrus aroma, can very easily be substituted for a lemon.
The mixture of its shape and scent often see it being ‘hung’ as an air freshener…believe it or not.