Loquats are special little fruits. Even though they’re not stone fruits (in fact, loquats are considered pomes), their outer appearance and sweet, tangy fruit is quite reminiscent of them. Their flavor brings to mind tart apricot and a citrusy sourness, with a sweet, fruity fragrance.
When you first set eyes on a loquat, they look similar to an oblong peach or apricot. Starting out green when they’re young, loquats mature into small, soft fruits boasting a peachy, cantaloupe color. You can typically find loquats in season from April through September.
Much like a pear or apple, loquats can be eaten raw, skin and all. Just discard the few large seeds in the middle. If you don't like the skin, it can be easily peeled and discarded with your fingers. Loquats make a refreshing snack that packs a more flavorful punch than your everyday apple.
Loquats are a welcome addition to tons of your favorite fruity recipes! From jams to juice, salads and savory dishes, loquat adds a bright flavor dimension to countless dishes. Loquats go well in fruit salads, eaten on their own, alongside a cheese or charcuterie tray, and into desserts. Try using loquats as a substitute for peaches or apricots in cakes, tarts, and pies. They even go well in savory cooked dishes paired with chicken.
Nutritionally speaking, loquats are also a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium, and manganese. Their unique orange color from plant chemicals called carotenoids that are high in vitamin A, which are essential for healthy eyes and a strong immune system.
Here are the most common ways to prepare loquats for all kinds of meals: