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Loquats

They're all over my local (Astoria, NY) vegetable markets lately. Suggestions?

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  1. chutney, jam, ice cream, cake filling, salsa, smoothies

    1. anyone know where I can buy them in the E. Village?

      1. I'm glad to hear loquats (aka nisperos) are all over the markets. They are underappreciated IMO and though there are trees in neighborhoods here in Northern California most people don't eat them or even know they are edible. I like them best raw eaten out of hand. They can be fantastic with the right cheese. They've already ripened and gone here but I had some this spring with a "Breakfast Cheese" from Marin French Cheese Co.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Junie D

          Yes, sit on the front porch and spit the seeds into the garden. Next year you will have a little loquat tree for almost every seed. They are good reproducers!

          1. re: Junie D

            I had some last month from the Oakland Friday Farmers' Market which were pretty good. Never had seen them for sale before. Used to gorge on them from my parents' L.A. trees. Deeeelish.

            1. re: oakjoan

              I've only seen them for sale in Italy so it is encouraging that the US is catching on! Don't know when they ripen in LA but up here they are such a treat in late April and May when the winter citrus is waning and the strawberries aren't quite ready.

          2. I use them in fruit salads with a little coconut milk/cream.

            1. We eat them fresh off the tree, if and when we can get them from our dog. She picks them herself.

              1. I find that the coyotes in my neighborhood in Los Angeles love to eat the fallen fruit. I actually enjoy them, like others, fresh from the tree. The one thing I have done at times in the past is peel them as I find the flesh without the peel to be sweeter. I know I know, tedious and not necessary usually..but good if you are going to serving them with a cheese or using them in a recipe.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ickster

                  Thanks for all the ideas. How do I know when a loquat is ready to eat or passed its prime? Most of ones I see have some black spots on them. Are they over the hill?

                  1. re: pizzapazza

                    And how do they taste? i know that's hard to descibe but the ones i bought once were just mildly sour, not at all tasty.

                    1. re: julesrules

                      As best as I remember, the ones from my in-laws tree last year tasted like a cross between apricot and lychee w/ a honey perfume. They had a little acidity but were more on the sweet side.

                    2. re: pizzapazza

                      black spots may be common on fruits from untended trees. Ripe loquats should have the feel and heft of a tree-ripe apricot. Heavy and soft with a skin that has 'relaxed' sort of like my 'senior skin' LOL! They should be sweet.

                  2. Here's a link to my old inquiry on loquats: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                    Got some great suggestions and recipes. I had some great intentions, but ended up just eating most of them as is. I hope you find some use for the info, and please report back w/ any results!