Kumquat is a citrus fruit of Asian origin; it was once classified under the genus citrus, in the japonica species; further research has made kumquat move to the fortunella genus; today there are conflicting opinions on whether or not this plant belongs to the genus citrus, therefore it is commonly treated as citrus japonica, or as fortunella japonica, depending on the point of view of the speaker, equally often they are referred to as citrus fortunella, or citrus X fortunella, to indicate its hybrid origin. In fact there are some different species, which can therefore be considered as varieties of citrus japonica, or as real species of fortunella or citrus X fortunella. In general, these are citrus fruits, therefore belonging to the rutaceae family; they are small trees, which do not exceed 3-5 meters in height, evergreen, with shiny, leathery leaves, covered with a waxy patina, much smaller than those of other citrus fruits. They bloom in the middle of summer, producing white, very fragrant flowers in the leaf axil; the flowers are followed by small, oval or rounded, golden orange or intense yellow fruits. The particularity of the kumquat it is in the pulp and in the peel of the fruit even though they recall in all respects a miniature orange, these small citrus fruits have a very sweet skin, and a very sour pulp; for this reason, they are eaten whole, so that the sugar contained in the thin skin, relieves the sour sensation caused by the juice of the pulp, sour as that of a lemon or lime.
Fortunella japonica, syn. Citrus japonica, Syn. Citrus X fortunella japonica
The kumquat Japanese is not widespread in the living Italians, while it is highly appreciated in Asia; in fact in Italy it is also very difficult to find the fruits of this species, which are round in shape. The foliage is dark, oval in shape, and of limited size; the fruits appear in summer and autumn and are reminiscent of tiny oranges or clementines, the size of small plums, with a very thin skin. The overall flavor of these kumquats is very pleasant, they are very fragrant and aromatic and are often used to prepare jams and marmalades.