With the endless variety of fruit that greets us at our local supermarket produce section it's hard to believe that there could be anything new. But Mother Nature, with a little human help, isn't done surprising us yet. Welcome the mandarinquat, a small citrus hybrid that is a cross between a mandarin orange and a kumquat. Each mandarinquat that you bother to squeeze will give you a generous tablespoon of lip-puckering tart juice.
It is a good substitute for Seville or sour oranges in dishes like duck a l'orange. The skin is where you find the tender sweetness of the kumquat. To release it, simmer strips of the peel in sugar syrup. If you're feeling creative, use it to garnish roast meats including the duck. Look for them at specialty foods stores and high-end markets. Visit Frieda's Specialty Produce at http://www.friedas.com or Melissa's World Variety Produce at http://www.melissas.com for more exotic and unusual fruit selections.
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