|Loquats grow in clusters on trees. (Photo Credit: Flickr/jeans_Photos)|
The inside flesh is firm, and according to my friend, David Karp, “The texture varies from the crispness of a firm cantaloupe to the juiciness of a ripe peach. The flavor is a pleasant blend of apricot, plum, and cherry, with floral overtones, and is quite sweet when ripe. If you like peaches, apricots, and plums, you'll love Loquats.”
Loquats actually originate in China, but interestingly, they are also known as the Japanese Medlar or Japanese Plum. (OK, they are known as Chinese Plums, too.) In Italian, Loquats are called Nespole Giaponesse.
|Credit: Flickr/Egg on stilts|
If you are lucky enough to find fresh Loquats, don’t be deterred if they show a little bruising or dark spots. These fruits are so delicate that even the most gentle handling of the fruit will leave small marks.
If you find them, enjoy them NOW, because the season is very short! (They typically mature in April and May.) If you live in Southern California, you might even have a neighbor with a Loquat tree. Maybe they will share with you!
But, be warned -- Loquats have big brown inedible seeds on the inside and you may want to peel off the outside skin before consuming, as it is kind of tough.