The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.
But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.
And they are made into tea.
What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.
In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.