Have you come across some loquats, and you’re wondering what to do with them?
Since they’re so delicate and prone to quick decays, loquats are hardly available in commercial markets.
So firstly, consider yourself lucky for finding this rare fruit.
These rare gems are best eaten raw.
However, if you’ve gotten your hands on a lot of loquats, then you can simply preserve them to make delicious marmalade and jams.
Let’s dig a little deeper and learn the many ways of how to cook with loquats and what do loquats taste like.
But, before anything else:
What are Loquats?
Loquats are native to the colder regions of South-central China and are mainly grown in Japan.
The plant is a large evergreen shrub that belongs to the Rosaceae family.
While the fruit is eaten raw or used in several recipes, the leaves are used for making herbal tea.
Besides, the loquat plants are also cultivated as ornamental plants.
There are several types of loquats, such as the Emanuel, Advance, Juda, Gold Nugget, Champagne, etc.
If you want to learn more about the features of each kind, you can check here.
Loquats are small in size and look very similar to oranges.
Their color varies from red-orange to yellow, depending on the variety.
It has a juicy flesh that appears mostly orange, yellow, and sometimes white.
You may say that loquats look like a cross between an orange and an apricot.
On the outside, loquats have thick skin with several brown seeds at their core.
They are oval-shaped, ranging from 1-2½ inches long.
Their flavor is pleasant and delectable; hence they are mostly used in desserts and appetizers.
What Do Loquats Taste Like?
Loquats belong to the same family as apples, plums, and persimmons.
Hence, they taste more or less the same.
Moreover, when ripe, the texture of loquats is similar to plums.
The overall flavor of loquats is sweet, with a hint of tanginess.
Hence, anyone looking for a tropical escape with a classic sweet-and-sour flavor can enjoy this fruit.
Loquats have a subtle flavor that is often described as a blend of peaches, apricots, and oranges.
It is slightly acidic, but its tartness offers a well-balanced taste.
If you like eating plums, peaches, and apricots, you’ll equally love loquats.
Specifically, the flavor of loquats will vary depending on their variety.
For instance, the Gold Nugget loquats have a mildly fair and sweet flavor, while the Champagne varieties taste sweet and spicy.
If you want loquats with extra sweetness, then look for Oliver varieties.
Much like apples and pears, loquats can be eaten with or without the skin.
The season’s ripest loquats will have soft and sweet flesh with juicy skin.
When it isn’t at its peak ripeness, the skin tends to be firmer and tastes sour.
Apart from being delicious and juicy, loquats are also nutritious and beneficial for your health.
Loquats are high in carotenoid antioxidants, which protect against diseases and prevent cellular damage.
In addition, they’re low in calories and an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin B, manganese, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Including this fruit in your diet can help promote heart health, improve metabolic rate, and offer anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Cook with Loquats?
Apart from eating them raw, there are several other ways you can use this versatile fruit.
One of the most common ways of using the fruit is in jams and sauces.
Here’s how you can make a delicious and simply loquat jam:
- Firstly, wash the fruits thoroughly and cut them into pieces. Make sure to discard the seeds.
- Mix them with sugar and let them sit for about 30 minutes.
- Then, add some lemon juice and cardamom and give it a good mix. .
- Bring the mixture to a boil for about 35-40 minutes, with occasional stirring.
- Use a hand-held blender to mash the jam, allow it to cool, and enjoy.
Believe it or not, loquats also go extremely well with chicken.
You can check out this recipe provided by Allrecipes.
- Other creative ways to use loquats include:
- Add them to your fruit salads.
- Have them with breakfast on the side to start your day on a juicy note.
- Make a loquat pie.
- Mix with spices and use it as a dip.
- Blend them with other fruits and veggies for a delicious smoothie.
Regardless of how you use this fruit, keep one thing in mind.
Loquats need to be used immediately after purchase because they degrade really fast once picked from the tree.
Tropical fruits are the way to go in summers.
And with the summer heat just coming in, we think now is the best time to enjoy the season’s best loquats.
You’d be lucky to find some of these fruits from local vendors.
However, you could also get online and try to order them directly.
Once you get your hands on these exotic fruits, make sure to eat them as quickly as possible before they decay.