Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 31, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

The small golden citrus called kumquat!  Most people recognize an orange, tangerine, or grapefruit, but not everyone knows about the kumquat.

There are both sour and sweet kumquats.  You can tell the difference by sight.  The sour kumquat is elongated, while the sweet is round. They can be used in salads, jellies, pickled, or candied.  They make delicious cakes and pies.  But perhaps the favorite use is to pop the whole thing in your mouth, skin and all. 

Just yesterday we stood around one of our trees and, as conversation continued among several people, you could see a hand pluck a kumquat from the tree and pop it into their mouth.  It was a great gathering place, but it can only happen if you have kumquat trees in your yard. 

We have them!  In fact, this week we planted more and have doubled our number.  We keep the number even between the sour and the sweet.  Each has its special reason to be used.  Of course, they will not grow everywhere.  Remember, they are citrus.  W continue to see our orange groves diminish because of the cold, and the large grove owners move farther south.

But kumquats are here.  In fact, Pasco County is the largest producer of kumquats in the world.  Although the recent freeze hurt the crop, there are still sufficient numbers for the annual Kumquat Festival.  This annual event encompasses downtown Dade City.  There is a farmer’s market, arts and crafts, live music, dancing, antiques, and food galore!  Last year’s event drew over 30,000 people.  Many have to park miles away and ride shuttle busses provided by the city.

I know that this blog is read by people across America.  I wanted you to know something about our special and favorite fruit.  In fact, you might want to visit the festival next year!  For those of us blessed to be part of this event and to enjoy this special fruit, we can only smile or frown as we pop a kumquat into our mouth.  The reaction depends on whether the kumquat is sweet or sour!




  1. I attended my first Kumquat Festival on Saturday! It was certainly worth the drive over, even with the threat of inclement weather. Craft vendors, food, people and pet watching- it was all there. My sister’s kumquat pie was delicious! I totally recommend putting it on your calendar for next year. Thank you Judy and Lawson for a great day!

    Comment by Carol Mathews — January 31, 2010 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  2. Wish we had kumquats over here! There is nothing better than reading your blog. It is so cool to look at the archives calendar and see that every date has an entry.

    Comment by Clayton — February 2, 2010 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

  3. I just had a handful of kumquats (sweet ones) off of our tree. I prefer the sour type, but my neighbor has a large tree with sour ones. Even though I think I should make the most use of ours, I take Betty up on her offer and have some of her sour fruit (my mouth is watering as I speak). We also have a Myers lemon tree that I like to eat like an orange. I really like them. My Johnny only likes them as lemon mirangue pie, so we have both. I hope my personality doesn’t reflect my taste in fruit. Guess that’s why God made so many varieties, and why we are so different, because he made all of us uniquely from the very beginning.

    Comment by D. White — February 21, 2011 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

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