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Kumquats: Sweet-tarts of the citrus rodeo

Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960s, my brother and I knew just what to do with kumquats from the potted tree on the patio: We tossed them at each other. Like most Californians, we never ate them. Kumquats do present a challenge for the uninitiated. In most citrus, the juicy pulp is consumed and the peel discarded. Kumquats, however, are eaten whole, and their appeal stems from the contrast between their tart flesh and thick, sweet rind. But maybe folks are finally catching on. Without much fanfare, more and more kumquats are being grown in California, which now leads the nation in production. Granted, it's still a minor crop compared to other citrus, but chefs and home cooks alike...

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