Corfu has become famous for its produce made from Koum Kouat – liqueurs, sweets, jellies, nougat, marmalades, whole fruits in syrup and almost every imaginable by-product.
Originally introduced to the island in 1860 by the British botanist Sydney Merlin – this small fruit with its unique taste originates from South Japan and China. The meaning of its name is ‘golden fruit’
When picked fresh it can, and should, be eaten together with its fine outer peel. It is impossible to accurately describe its taste in words as it is not really comparable with any other fruit, it is both sweet and sour and unexpectedly it is the peel that is sweet and the flesh that is sour.
There are many trees around the island and they do look rather like miniature oranges but they are more oval as opposed to round in shape.
The larger plantations are to be found mostly in the north western part of the island but it is not unusual to find at least one koum kouat bush in many private gardens.
Distilleries can be found at various points around the island, one of the largest is Mavromatis, founded in 1965 and located on the road heading towards Paleokastritsa from Javros. Here at this family run business you can sample not only the koum kouat products but a whole range of fruit based liqueurs. You can also watch a video which shows each stage of the production.