Good news (maybe?) for lovers of kumquats!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a bag of Cuties mandarin oranges from a local grocery store.
Cuties-Mandarins-5-Lb-Bag-2068873988 [generic picture pulled from the Internet]

I absolutely love kumquats (they are my favorite citrus fruit!) but the bags of them that they had at the grocery store were full of fruit that looked awfully green and underripe. The nearby Cuties mandarins looked really good, but when I got them to the car I discovered that (at that very moment) I didn’t care much to bother to peel them (I also didn’t have my preferred citrus fruit peeling tool, a hollow stainless steel chopstick).

[picture of identical style pulled from the Internet]

A little aside before we continue: I have had a strong preference for Cuties over their competitor Halos for many years. While the skin of a Halo slips more easily, I have found that their flavor and sweetness are vastly inferior to that of Cuties.

So there I was, sitting in my car during the cold drizzle, looking at this delicious mandarin orange but not wanting to plunge my thumbnail through the skin in order to peel it and in the process get orange pith stuck. Being a lover of kumquats I did what any such someone would do and proceeded to take bites of the mandarin fruit, skin and all, and I was pleasantly surprised at the resulting flavor experience. I highly recommend that any of y’all fellow kumquat lovers give it a shot!


I also love kumquats. I was introduced to them in California, and I thought I was being subject to a prank when I was told that you eat the peel. Anyway, they were absolutely addicting, and I break my rule of no potted plants by growing a Fukushu (my favorite) and a Nordmann Seedless in Arkansas.

With that being said, I’m having a hard time thinking that I’m going to enjoy eating a Cuties mandarin with the peel. But I’m still going to give it a go when I next buy a bag. Thanks for the idea.

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@Podunk, while the pith and skin of a Cuties mandarin orange is not quite as thin as that of the kumquats that I am used to, it is a far cry from the thickness of a navel orange. I hope that you and others will be pleasantly surprised to find something adjacent to the experience of enjoying a kumquat!


Speaking of kumquats, they are almost ripe!


Yessir @Richard, and I am getting so excited! It will take a bit longer before my own Meiwa and Fukushu will be producing fruit, but I am looking forwards to that eventuality!


My nagami still have about a month to go, but the Meiwa are all almost gone haha


I grew up among citrus orchards. The preferred way to peel them was to bite the stem end, peeling it back. Then the rest of the peel was easily removed. If not, the fruit was unripe and tossed aside.

Kumquats are also probably the best citrus landscaping tree. Which is saying something.

Also a bit more cold-hardy than other citrus.


They are a shrub which can be trained as trees. I’ve noticed that insect pests are less interested in them when given a menu of citrus.


That is a good reason to grow citrus seedling as trap plants to apply a systemic poison

That strategy does not work with outdoor in-ground Citrus in California. The pest pressure is too high.

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Wow I didn’t realize you guys suffered much pest pressure. Granted I’m in an odd spot but that’s my favorite thing about growing citrus is I have zero pest pressure on citrus. Not even a spot of leaf miner, the occasional scale but that’s very rare.

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Wait until an illegal seller/shipper of Citrus plant material sends them to you.

Don’t think enough people grow citrus in my area for it to ever be an issue. But I hope you’re wrong haha.

We get enough hard freezes to keep at least some of those pests down even if they do reach us, but yeah, it’s only a matter of time for some I’m sure. Isolation from the citrus belt and from each other seems to be our best defense overall here in the upper South.

I was looking over some articles on the potential range of HLB the other day. Depending on the model, we’re right there at the edge of its potential range. Scary stuff, not anything I’d want to risk.

Also did you see that SugarBell is supposedly resistant? Not that I have room for another haha but I’d like to try it also, can’t imagine I’d like it more than a Cara-Cara but hard to go wrong with citrus for me.

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I believe it’s tolerant rather than resistant, but yeah, I did see that. Not sure I believe the claim of hardy to 14 F, but even if it’s upper teens, I’m interested (and still have room, hehe).

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Mine get San Jose scale bad some years. Otherwise its just typical aphids and spider mites during inside stints over winter