Loquat fruits grow in clusters and are oval or pear-shaped, growing to 1-2 inches long. Their skin is an orangey-yellow closely resembling the fuzzy texture of a peach. When you bite or cut into a loquat you will find an orange, sweet, juicy flesh with a few inedible seeds.
Intrigued? Be prepared to know more about loquat than you ever imagined!
Loquat, or Eriobotrya japonica, are native to the cooler hill regions of south-central China. In Cantonese, the word loquat, translates to “black orange” which is thought to originate from the color of the fruit prior to ripening. They have naturalized to many countries all over the world, in places that boast warmer climates. In the U.S., they grow in warmer states like Hawaii, California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Loquats are green until ripe, when they turn an orangey-yellow color.
A loquat is ripe when orangey-yellow and no green remains. When squeezed gently, the fruit will be a little soft, much like a peach.
Much like a peach or apricot, you can eat the whole loquat fruit discarding the few large seeds you come across. They make a fantastic, satisfying, and refreshing snack.
If you don't like the skin, it can be easily peeled and discarded with your fingers.
To prepare a loquat for a child's snack, a fruit salad, or a cheese platter, simply slice from top to bottom all the way around the fruit – like you would a peach. The seeds will be revealed in the center and can be removed easily with your fingers or the tip of your knife. You can remove the flesh from the peels at this point or eat them.
Loquats grow in warm climates all over the world, including China, Japan, the Meditteranean basin, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Kenya, India, Iran, and the United States.
In the U.S., they grow in warmer states like Hawaii, California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
In California you can typically find Loquat wherever you find avocados growing.
Loquats get their orange color from plant chemicals called carotenoids that are high in vitamin A and are essential for healthy eyes and a strong immune system. They are also a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium, and manganese.
100 grams of loquat contains:
You can typically find loquats in season from April through September.
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.
The high pectin content makes loquats a great choice for jams and jellies.
Some people even use their loquats to make a nice, refreshing wine.
Loquats feel a lot like a peach or apricot on the outside. The flavor of a loquat is sweet and tangy with a little bit of sourness.
You can store ripe loquat at a cool room temperature for a week. If your house is a little warmer, it may be best to store them in the refrigerator for up to a month.
The only real similarities between these two fruits are the color and names. Loquat more closely resembles a peach and the kumquat is part of the citrus flavor resembling a small orange in appearance with a flavor somewhere between lime and lemon.
Loquats are not known to harm dogs unless a large quantity of the seeds are eaten as well. Your furry friend should be able to enjoy loquats in moderation.
Peeling many loquats with your bare hands can lead to brown staining on the skin which will come out in time.
Loquat juice can leave a brownish stain on clothing, so it is best to clean up any spills quickly. Treat stains as you would any other stain.