Kumquats — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

By: Rob Bleifer

Yes, clearly kumquats are a fruit you've seen in the market or on our shows, but many still have no idea what to really do with them. I truly love them. They have a huge, explosive orange flavor, but with the tartness of a lemon or lime. The entire thing is edible, from rind to flesh to seed (though I personally don't enjoy eating the seeds), and they are great used in dishes ranging from savory to sweet.

But now I think it's time to share an outstanding flavor combination with you all. This is something I've been making for years. I always thought it would be the signature at my dream restaurant/bar — the cocktail that would put me on the map.

Kumquats and cola. Really, no joke. Just cut a kumquat in half, squeeze the juice into the cola and then drop the fruit in. Give it a gentle stir and enjoy.

Rum, cola and orange make up a classic trinity, but for me, the orange is just too sweet. So the kumquat makes perfect sense — the tartness and the big, bright orange flavor. (Yes, kumquat would work quite well in the virgin version too!)

If you have leftover kumquats, try making yourself a delicious little kumquat and bacon mostarda (an Italian condiment with candied fruit and mustard). It provides a nice balance to pork or chicken.

The staff of Food Network Kitchens see (and taste and smell) ingredients and products just before they make themselves known to the national palate. Sometimes one of our on-air chefs brings them into our kitchen, sometimes we find them during restaurant dinners or in grocery stores, at home and away. Each month we’re sharing one with you, along with tips or recipes. And we know that many of you devote a good amount of time to exploring, tasting or simply getting dinner on the table, so let us know what you find that might just be the next best thing we never ate.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Gochujang — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

Gochujang (a spicy, slightly sweet, beautiful dark red fermented chili paste) has been a staple ingredient in Korean households for hundreds of years. It's used as an ingredient in stews and sauces, or simply as a dip for a snack.

Caviar Powder by Petrossian — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

You won’t eat Petrossian’s caviar powder by the spoonful, because just a little dusting of this dried caviar gives a salty, slightly fishy kick to all the classic caviar partners.

Za'atar — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

Try Za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend made of woody herbs (usually thyme and oregano, but traditionally hyssop), sumac and sesame seeds.

The Best Midnight Munchies From The Best Thing I Ever Ate

If fans are looking for a chance to enjoy a glass of Entwine and meet some of their favorite Food Network and Cooking Channel star's, The Best Thing I Ever Ate at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival is the event to do that at.