The loquat is a small, pear shaped fruit, which is a member of the Rosaceae family. It is also called a Japanese medlar, Japanese plum, or mayapple. It is related to the pear, peach, and apple. The fruit is the size of a crab apple and resembles a miniature apricot, approximately 3 inches by 1-1/2 inches. They grow in clusters. The loquat tree is an ornamental evergreen tree that is native to China and Japan. It can grow up to 23 feet tall. The wood of the loquat tree is sought after by instrument crafters.
The loquat has slightly downy skin. Its flesh can range in color from white, to yellow, to orange. Inside, there are 1 to 3 small, brown inedible, seeds. Loquats will bruise very easily, and do not store, or ship well. The flavor of loquats is a sweet-tart cherry like flavor. When not fully ripe, they have a high acidity level. Loquats are mainly grown in China, Japan, India, Central and South America, California, and Florida. They are in season in Florida in the Spring- and are commonly found in the landscape.
Loquats have calcium, vitamin A, potassium. They are diuretic, and a tonic. They can be eaten raw, or made into jam, jelly, syrup or liquor. Loquats can also be found dried or canned in Asian markets.
© 2012 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2012, January 26). Loquats. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net