FRUITS YOU SHOULD EAT IN JAPAN: KINKAN (KUMQUAT)

Kinkan is a fruit that grows after the flowers blossom on a tree that is about 2 meters high. The fruit is about 3-4 centimeters wide and can be eaten with the skin on, which gives the fruit a great balance of soft bitterness and sweetness.

1.The Features of  Kinkan in Japan

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Kinkan Tree

Japanese kinkan are harvested a lot in winter, and contain a lot of nutritional value suitable for the season. Because kumquats contain a lot of vitamin C, it is very good for preventing colds, and is also useful as a home remedy for treating a cough or a sore throat. The skin of the fruit is so soft that you can eat it as it is, and can enjoy the original taste of the kinkan. In fact, the fruit also contains plenty of juice, and it has a refreshing acidity and sweetness. Kinkan, which are raised mainly at home, are cultivated when they reach 3-4 centimeters on the tree. When they reach this size, they are ripe and should be harvested.

Also, thanks to its small and pretty appearance, it is often cultivated for ornamental use in family gardens and other places. It is a very familiar fruit in Japan.

2. The Best Season and Production Areas

Miyazaki prefecture accounts for the majority of the production of kinkan, followed by Kagoshima prefecture. The season for kinkan is from January to February.

3. How to eat Japanese Kinkan in Japan

Kinkan can be eaten with the skin, so you can enjoy chewing and get a completely different taste and texture from oranges. If you are concerned about the acidity, there are other ways to eat them. If they are cooked with sugar or boiled in sugar water, they can be made into sweet cookies or compote. Also, if you choose to eat them as a jam, you can easily eat them and also save them.

 

In Japan, there are traditional New Year’s foods called “Osechi Ryouri”, which have been eating during the New Year since long ago. This kind of food often includes sweet kinkan cookies. Compared to other Osechi side dishes, which tend to have a strong taste, the sweetness of kinkan cookies gives the mouth a break and the beauty of the striking color also opens Osechi Ryouri and is perfect for celebrating the New Year.

You can also eat kinkan by drying them and eating them as dried fruits. Kinkan and Japanese radish can be pickled in honey, and this can be eaten instead of cough drops.

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Kinkan Pickled in Sugar

 

 

 

 

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Sweet Cooked Kumquat

 

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Dried Kinkan

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Osechi Ryouri (New Year’s Food)