Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Loquats

My brother stopped by after a visit to the Farmers' Market - Alhambra with a bag of what he said was an "unknown" Asian fruit. They're loquats, I said, surprised that he hadn't had one before.
Loquat 1
Especially because our oldest uncle's neighbor has this magnificent loquat tree. Alas, the neighbor trims his tree so thoroughly that no branches lean over the fence for us to pick. :(
Loquat 2
Loquats originated in southeastern China and made their way to Hawaii by Chinese immigrants. By the 1870s, they were a common sight in California. Loquats ripen in SoCal in April, and in NorCal in May. Though they share similarities in name to kumquats, they are not botanically related. If you ever do manage to find any loquats, they're lovely. Rather reminiscent of apricots. Just peel the lightly fuzzy outside before eating. ***** 1 year ago today, ginormous strawberry-stuffed doughnuts at The Donut Man in Glendora.

14 comments:

  1. oh man i so remember loquats. my grandparents use to have a rather large tree in the backyard. every year around this time, all the grandkids would gather around the tree in the bank with some of the uncles and pick them off the tree to eat. all those loquats were so nice and juicy. but i also remember a lot of people stealing them from my gradnparents backyard because they would go into my uncle backyard. but i have seen this on chinese buffets the canned can. it isnt the same but it is better then nothing.

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  2. My aunt has a tree in La Habra, but the fruit seems much smaller than what you've pictured - so that it seems mostly peel and seed (not as much fun to eat). That tree looks pretty well loaded!

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  3. I've seen these trees all over Southern California and have always wondered what they were. Thanks for solving the mystery.

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  4. I've seen these fruits before, but never knew what they were. Any relation to kumquats?

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  5. Oooo..i love this. My sis's neighbour in Australia plants lots of loquat but don't think they appreciate it cos they let it rot. Love it...sweet and soothing to the throat.

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  6. I love the picture! My neighbor had a loquat tree that we were welcome to pick from if we could reach them! Thanks for reminding me, I going to try to track some down!

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  7. bluang3lbby,
    I liked that story. Thanks for sharing it. I can't believe people would steal fruit from your grandparents' tree! We only pick fruit if it hangs over to our side.

    Nikki,
    Alas, the fruit are all way, way up high. And none extend into our side. :(

    Susan,
    Well, now you know. :)

    Marvin,
    Nope. Just similarity in names.

    PP,
    Isn't that how it always is? People never appreciate what they have.

    Foodhoe,
    Oh I wish we were welcome to pick these. Actually, I don't think any of us have asked!

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  8. I have two Loquat trees that produce large, delicious fruit. Here in South Florida my loquats bear fruit in Late January (Bradenton variety) to the end of February (Yehuda variety). With different varieties you could probably extend the season longer. The thieves (the feathered kind) in my garden take quite a bounty but there is so much I don't mind sharing.

    The Bac Ha that you shared with me via the "plant trade" is doing very well. It has produced quite a few children so I have a little "patch" of it now. I very much enjoy it for its beauty and culinary value.

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  9. Hey! We just ate these last night with my parents! One of our employees brought them off her tree! Yumm......

    The best ones are the ones that are a little bruised and really, really, orange. They're so sweet!

    WC, Do what my friend does....go to Home Depot, get yourself one of those really TALL ladders. At night when everyones asleep...pick your heart out!!

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  10. Barry,
    It's so nice to hear back from you. I'm glad the bac ha are doing nicely. If you scroll down, you can see how well my jungle red hibiscus are doing too. I love the taste and color of my hibiscus.

    WoRC,
    Haha! I'm not a tree robber. I would hate it if people did that to me so I wouldn't do it to someone else.

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  11. WC, do you happen to know what loquats are called in Vietnamese? My happa cousin asked me, and I was pretty embarrassed to say that I had no clue what they're called! I tried the google/wiki, but came up empty handed. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

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  12. Macaque,
    Loquats are called trái sơn trà in Vietnamese. Vdict.com is your friend. :) I also double-checked with several of my Viet-English dictionaries.

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  13. See loquats grown as ornamentals in South Florida. I have been eating them off public trees. Delicious like an apricot but they need to be picked when getting more of a deep orange if you want full sweetness. Pick before then and they are more tart. The ones here look like your photograph.... which has them a tiny bit unripe

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  14. xxxxx,
    Yeah, these were a bit tart. I've had ripe ones that were really delicious.

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