What is a Limequat?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

The limequat is a fruit created by crossing two different fruits, the lime and the kumquat. Classified as a hybrid citrus tree belonging to the citrofortunella family, the fruit combines the sweetness of the kumquat's skin with the tartness of the lemon. Limequats can be used in many recipes in a manner that is very similar to that of a lemon or lime.

Limequat can provide an element of tartness in a fruit salad.
Limequat can provide an element of tartness in a fruit salad.

Limequat trees tend to have thick foliage that makes the trees look somewhat bushy. The leaves are thick and a deep green that tend to be glossy, and have a general shape that is a cross between the leaves of an orange tree and a lemon tree. A limequat tree begins to produce very early and is capable of yielding large quantities of fruit during its normal production cycle.

As for the fruit, a limequat is somewhat small, although it is slightly larger than the average lemon. Oval in shape, the fruit has a color that is often described as being a yellow-green. Like many citrus fruits, this hybrid fruit does include seeds mingled in with the pulp. The pulp itself is somewhat bittersweet and juicy, while the skin has a more pronounced sweet flavor.

Like other citrus fruits, the limequat offers an ample amount of vitamin C in each piece of fruit. It is possible to squeeze the juice from the pulp using methods that are commonly employed to extract the juice from oranges. Once extracted, the juice can be combined with other fruit juices to create a refreshing breakfast drink, or for any application that might call for lemon or lime juice.

Because of the high acidic quality of the limequat, it is ideal for keeping cut fruits fresh and crisp. For example, many people coat slices of apples with lemon juice in order to add a bit of tartness to the slices, as well as prevent them from turning brown. The juice of this hybrid fruit can be used for the same purpose, and tends to modify the tart taste slightly, allowing the sweetness of the apple to remain the more apparent taste.

Limequats can also be used in a number of recipes. It is possible to produce puddings and pie fillings using the juice instead of utilizing lemon or lime juice. The skin can be used for zest in recipes that call for orange or lemon zest, such as cake frostings or meringues. As an ingredient in a fruit salad, sections of the limequat work just as well as sections of mandarin oranges and add a slight tartness and splash of color to the presentation.

It is possible to buy limequats in many of the larger supermarket chains. The fruit can also be ordered from a number of online fruit retailers, along with bottles of limequat juice and frozen sections of the fruit. As a way to add new life to an old recipe, considering the use of limequats is definitely something that any cook should try.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Where do limequats grow?

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