As the protesters and thugs roil in Egypt, we take comfort in the Chinese New Year. The Year of the Rabbit--the bunny!--a vegetarian, soft, agreeable, hopping creature---we lived for years happily with a Dutch version, named Rabbit Penn Warren--- is marked by a US stamp featuring the kumquat, a small citrus that combines sweet with tart, an appropriate reflection of life itself.
Until I spent extended time in Florida, I never knew a kumquat would become a favorite. They were the dried up extras tossed in the crate of fruit sent our family back in the day by a grandparent from, in fact, St Petersburg. But once I had my own small tree, in a pot, I marveled at each one, rationing myself. First the sweet rind, then the squirt of tart juice from within. (Save your Southern Belle jokes for later....)
Florida throws a festival in the kumquat's honor the end of January in Dade City---while the website touts kumquattery tastings, and we have not attended, our experience with many such festivals relentlessly pursued, is that they are a community's reasons to gather---high on corndogs, rides, junk to buy--- and way low on anything substantive re the food being honored.
A Chinese native, according to the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco the kumquat symbolizes "renewed hope for the future."
(NB General Google informs me that in 1915 kumquats left Citrus, and joined the genus Fortunella, named after Robert Fortune, the Brit collector of plants who first introduced them to Europe. )