The raw material

Once again it was Marie who provided culinary inspiration. Not a professional cook, Marie has nonetheless a deep interest in everything food and, above all, she is not shy when it comes to experimenting and trying new flavours. Blessed withe a kumquat plant in her yard, one morning she appeared at work with a bag of kumquats and a recipe.

Kumquats are the fruit of a perennial citrus plant that look like tiny teeny, and sometimes oval, oranges and are usually eaten raw as their rind is very sweet, while the center can be tangy. Popped in your mouth whole, they provide a pleasant contrast.

I became familiar with kumquats once I moved to California as they originate from China and are not that popular in Europe yet. In China, and other S. East Asian countries, kumquats are a symbol of good luck.

Well, my good luck came with the recipe Marie provided and that she sourced from Epicurious.com. She swore it was utterly delicious so I resisted the urge to eat the kumquats whole and, in anticipation of a cocktail party I was planning, I made the chutney. Which took the whole of 20 minutes, with the hardest part seeding and slicing the tiny fruit. The only modification I made to the original recipe is the omission of cilantro at the end (as I am allergic to it) and of raw kumquats after cooking it. I liked the chutney as it was.

It is indeed very delicious, just eaten by itself or on a slice of bread. I offered it as an accompaniment to cheese but it goes very well with meat too, especially pork. So, if you live in Southern California and have a tree, get to work. It will be worthy.


1 C Sugar

1/4 C White Wine Vinegar

4 T Crystallized Ginger, chopped

2 ts Curry Powder

2 2/3 C Kumquats, thinly sliced and seeded

  1. In a heavy pot, cook all the ingredients on medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 10 minutes. Stir often. The fruit will generate some liquid which will incorporate in the whole once cooled.Everything goes in the pot
  2. Let cool and the refrigerate al least one hour before serving.
  3. Ready to eat


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