Loquat is a lesser-known fruit to many, native to southeastern China.
It is commonly known by the names Japanese medlar, Chinese plum, and Japanese plum.
The loquat belongs to the family of rose plants, and its tree can grow up to 10 meters tall.
Their leaves are large and dark green, and their fruits are slightly larger than a cherry.
Loquats resemble an oval shape and have a slightly yellowish-orange skin.
The fruit tastes sweet with a hint of tanginess and contains several brown seeds.
But what makes loquat a unique fruit, and what does it taste like?
The taste of loquat is sweet and slightly tangy. It tastes like a combination of peach and apricot, with a hint of citrus. Loquat has a juicy and firm texture, making it a refreshing snack during warm weather.
What is Loquat?
Loquat is a wonderful summer fruit used in several cuisines worldwide. It goes by many names, including Japanese plum, Chinese plum, and Japanese medlar. It is from the same family as apricot, peach, and nectarine.
Loquat is native to southeastern China. It grows best in subtropical areas that have warm temperatures throughout the year. Loquat fruits are available during the early spring or late winter, from December to March.
The loquat tree is evergreen and can grow up to 10 meters tall. The tree has dark green leaves, and the fruit is roughly the size of a small apricot. The flesh is yellow-orange, with a small seed in the center.
Loquat is loaded with nutrients and beneficial compounds. Its nutrient-dense fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that provide excellent health benefits.
What Does Loquat Taste Like?
The taste of the loquat is quite pleasant and unique, often described as sweet with a mildly tangy flavor. Upon biting into a ripe loquat, you will find it flavorful, juicy, and refreshing. The texture is similar to that of a firm peach, but slightly less dense, making it easy to eat even when on the go.
The fruit’s flesh is sweet and delicate, with a hint of citrus in every bite. It is a mild fruit with no overpowering flavors. Its sweetness is comparable to that of a ripe apricot, but its texture makes it a unique and delightful snack.
The somewhat firm texture of loquat, coupled with its unique blend of flavors, makes it a perfect addition to any fruit salad. With the right touch of acidity and sweetness, the fruit can be a refreshing snack on hot summer days.
How to Enjoy the Taste of Loquat
The loquat is versatile enough to consume in various ways, from raw to cooked. Here are some of the ways you can try this wonderful fruit:
- Raw – Loquat is best enjoyed raw. Clean the fruits well and eat them fresh just as you would with other seasonal fruits like peaches and plums.
- Make Jam – Loquat is used in jams, jellies, and preserves. The fruit’s mild flavor works well when combined with other fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
- Add to Desserts – You can add loquat to your favorite desserts such as pies, cakes, and tarts or use them to make a refreshing fruit sorbet.
- Cooked – Loquat can be cooked and added to meat dishes like chicken or pork. The fruit’s sweetness and tanginess work well with savory dishes.
- Juice – You can make loquat juice by blending the fruit with water and sugar to taste. It is a refreshing drink on hot summer days.
Health Benefits of Loquat
Loquat is packed with essential nutrients that provide amazing health benefits.
Loquat is rich in antioxidants that protect and keep your body healthy. The fruit is also an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are essential for maintaining good eye health and a healthy immune system.
Loquat is also high in dietary fiber, making it an excellent way to regulate your digestion and maintain a healthy digestive system. Rich in minerals like potassium, iron, and manganese, it also offers bone and joint health benefits.
In addition, Loquat has unique compounds called triterpenes that hold anti-inflammatory effects. Hence, it is helpful in controlling lung inflammation, allergies, and other respiratory ailments.
Where to Find Loquat?
Loquat is a seasonal fruit and can be found in most Farmer’s Markets during the late winter and early spring. Specialty groceries like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s also carry this unique fruit. Alternatively, you can grow loquat in your backyard if you have a suitable climate.
In conclusion, loquat is a delicious, unique fruit that is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Its pleasing combination of sweet and tangy flavor is delightful, with a texture that is refreshing and moisturizing.
If you are looking for a new fruit to add to your weekly meal plan, consider giving loquat a try. This sweet and nourishing fruit is excellent for maintaining healthy digestion, boosting immunity, and supporting bone and joint health.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.