Limequats – interesting fruit resembling lemons or limes
Although they may resemble other citrus fruits, they differ in size. Limequats are on average 3 to 4 centimetres in size and have a spherical to slightly elongated shape. They have a smooth thin and shiny skin covered with small oily glands. As limequats ripen, they change colour from green to yellow. The flesh itself, which is hidden under the skin, is soft and juicy, pale yellow-green and contains several edible seeds. Similarly to a lemon or lime, the pulp of a limequat is separated by 7 to 8 white membranes.
Taste and aroma of fruit
Limequats grow on a tree that bears the botanical name Citrofortunella floridana. This tree reaches a height of more than two meters. The fruit itself, limequats, has a floral scent and can be eaten whole or with the peel. With the peel take have a bittersweet taste. Compared to limes, the taste is more sour and less bittersweet, but otherwise very similar.
Origin of fruit
Limequats are native to China, but are also grown in Japan, Israel, Spain, Malaysia, South Africa, Armenia, Great Britain and the USA (especially in Florida). It is a hybrid species that was created by combining lime and kumquat. Compared to limes, they are more cold tolerant and offer higher fruit yields. Those are probably the main reasons why their popularity is growing. Limequats are a good source of vitamin C and folic acid.
You can also grow the fruit yourself and enjoy harvest all year round, however in Central Europe, people grow it as a houseplant so it may be transferred to a balcony or terrace during the summer. Protect the plant from direct sunlight, which could burn it. The plant does not like drafts. Watering is not necessary, but during the summer and during warmer winters, a fairly generous watering is needed.
Limequats are best eaten straight, but also great in cooked recipes. You can eat them whole, even with the peel. Although edible, the seeds are often removed when used in cooked recipes because they create a bitter flavour. You can cut the fruit and add it raw to vegetable and fruit salads and use it as a garnish for main meals, appetizers or even desserts. Limequats are also used in marmalades, jams or as a substitute for lemons or limes.
Limequats can be candied whole, but you can also make syrups out of them, dip them in caramel or cut into slices and use them as a decoration for cakes or other desserts and pastries. Juice is used to make unique cocktails and mixed drinks. Limequats also go very well with fish and poultry and are used to enhance vanilla and chocolate flavours. Limequats will last you up to one month if you store them whole in a sealed container in a refrigerator.
Preview photo: Commons.wikimedia.org
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