Found at: Plantagen
Cost: 250 KR per tree
I love kumquats.
I can eat kumquats until my mouth is raw from the citrus. When I lived in Japan, I would buy an entire plastic carton full of kumquats and finish them all in one sitting. Of course, like any good American girl, it took me a few months to get over the idea of eating the whole thing, peel and all – it’s unnatural, coming from the land where orange peels are half the thickness of an orange. But in the land of expensive fruit, my convictions proved to be no match for the invisible hand of the market. And now they are my favorite fruit. They are tart and tangy burst of flavor – as if a Gusher had a health-conscious cousin. They are bite-sized and perfect for munching and snacking and adding to your drink on a hot afternoon. Pop one in your mouth and you will smell citrus all day – as if you’ve gargled the scent of orange pledge (in a good way).
And then I left Japan and moved to a place where kumquats are not sold at a typical suburban supermarket. Travel does have its downsides.
But in the words of the Bear Grylls meme: improvise, adapt, overcome. If no one will grow kumquats for me, then I might as well grow them for myself. So off we went to the Plantagen – a massive garden superstore at the edge of Karlstad – and there amongst the decorative fici and frost-resistant gardenias was a beautiful little tree covered in my favorite fruit. Now, I do not have a greenhouse or even a garden, but the heart wants what it wants, and this heart wanted kumquats. So, we rode back into town with this little tree strapped to the back of my used bicycle, and now it sits on my window sill – a testament to my insatiable love of citrus and inability to relinquish the foods I love.
The only problem now is waiting for them to ripen.