Native to China, Loquat is a subtropical fruit tree from the rose family (Rosacea) that’s popular for a variety of its sweet fruits like apples, pears, peaches, apricots, and strawberries. Read on to learn more about loquats, their flavor, and culinary applications.

What are Loquats?

Loquats are yellow to reddish-orange fruits that grow in clusters on the Eriobotrya Japonica tree. They are small in size, up to 2 inches long, and round in shape. They have large brown seeds that cover a relatively large portion of the fruit. The flesh of the fruit is soft, juicy, sweet, and slightly tangy.

Loquats are also called Japanese plum, Chinese plum, and pipa. Historically loquat has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years in China.

It is also grown as an ornamental tree due to its aesthetically pleasing large, deeply veined leaves that are clustered together. 

Image Credit: Flickr user shandrew ( CC BY-NC 2.0 )

What do Loquats Taste Like?

Loquat has a soft juicy texture coupled with a tangy sweet and floral flavor. While unripe loquat possesses an acidic flavor like that of a lemon, the ripe loquat has a sweetness reminiscent of mellow honey or cane sugar, and mango or peach. The tartness or sweetness of loquats may vary according to the ripeness. Loquat is always peeled and deseeded before eating. 

Culinary Uses of Loquat

Loquat can be added into your daily breakfast bowl along with berries and dried nuts for a sweet tangy pop of flavor. For a caramelized flavor, you can glaze loquats with brown sugar or agave syrup. Sliced, and glazed loquats can be the perfect topping over cakes, pies, porridge, and oatmeals. Try out our recipes for Ricotta and Honey Oatmeal, Coconut Turmeric Oats, and Overnight Oats with a handful of refreshing sliced or chopped loquats for a healthy start to the day.

Image Credit: Flickr user fennfoot ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Loquats make a great addition to fruit salads along with any of your other favorite fruits, greens, and cheeses. Pump up your smoothies by adding loquat pieces in addition to bananas, apples, and mangoes. Loquats can also be leveraged into jams, chutneys, and breakfast spreads. 

Not only the fruit, but the leaves of loquat trees are also useful. Dried leaves of the loquat tree were used to prepare herbal tea in China and Japan during the Tang dynasty. 

Image Credit: noset from Pixabay

Feature Image: Flickr user jeans_Photos ( CC BY 2.0 )

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