The only place I ever saw a kumquat when I was little was at Mimi’s house. She didn’t eat them, though. Da ordered a case of fresh fruit from Florida every Christmas, and it wasn’t just oranges and grapefruit. A few navel oranges were intermixed with tangerines and unseedless oranges (you know the kind, lots and lots of seeds but oh, so sweet), and in the spaces in between were kumquats.
Small little orange-looking fruit, nobody would touch them but Da. He tried to get us kids to try them, demonstrating how to eat one by popping the whole thing into his mouth, peeling and all. He claimed they were delicious but you couldn’t prove it by me! According to Da, if you didn’t eat the peeling the little fruit was too sour, thus in one or two bites he’d polish each one off.
Da also ate pomegranates at Christmas time. Whether they arrived in the box with the other fruit or not, I can’t remember, but that’s another thing no-one else would eat but him. He would cut one of these strange things open, display its “guts,” and proceed to scoop some of the seeds out and eat them. Yuk. Now, I understand today that these things really are edible and mostly sweet, and occasionally I see one at the grocery store. Pomegranate juice is supposedly healthy. Doesn’t matter, I’m not tempted to try one. But as Thanksgiving time is here, I think more and more about Mimi, Da, and the holiday fruit that filled up their house with neat sights and smells.