Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My favorite fruit name to say

As writers, we have a tendency to pick favorite words. Whether it's those we write or those we say, there are certain words that give a particular joy with the way they roll off the tongue. I adore saying the names of the Jewish High Holy Days for example -- Rosh Hashanah continues to entertain every time I say it -- and when I discovered this fruit, well you can pronounce it for yourself.

I've never eaten this fruit. Never even seen one, to be entirely frank. But I did hear of it some years ago, and am always entertained by the way it rolls off my tongue.

It's a bit odd, but my favorite fruit name to say is ... Kumquat.

The kumquat tree. Image from Wikipedia.
The English name of the fruit comes from the Cantonese word "gam gwat." Trust us pesky English speakers to mess up a pronunciation, amirite?

It's a citrus fruit that's cousin to the orange, so I imagine it'd taste something like that. The plant's native to south Asia, and first appears in Chinese literature around the 12th Century CE. The kumquat tree, a small evergreen-type tree, can also be found in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Nepal. It first came to Europe in 1846 and was shortly thereafter introduced to North America.

According to Wikipedia, folks in the Southern U.S. and California are more likely to have consumed the kumquat. I don't recall having seen any in Massachusetts or New York grocery stores, but then I've never really bothered to look all that much. 

Still, since we're talking about fruit I figured I'd share this.

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