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"Kumquat!" used to be an insult

by Bob Kerstetter

When we were kids we’d sometimes yell, “Kumquat!” as a name-calling insult. This changed forever in Wakayama, Japan, when a Japanese couple stretched out picked some kumquats off a tree and handed them to us foreigners—part of the Japanese character.

As it turns out, these may be loquats. The trees and fruits of the kumquat and loquat appear somewhat similar. In either case, the Japanese call the tree and its fruit biwa. Biwa is very popular in Japan. The taste is citrus.

Picking kumquats in Wakayama, Japan

Picking kumquats in Wakayama, Japan

Kumquats for foreigners.

Kumquats for foreigners.

Kumquat still life

Kumquat still life

One Response to "Kumquat!" used to be an insult

cjkd says:

Love your picture, Bob! Your interactions with the Japanese people surely sounds pleasant. What a life-expanding experience!

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