Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Loquat. What?

It's been awhile since I've shared a Tuesday treat, and because this one is fruit and needs no preparation other than peeling, it's perfect for a late afternoon snack.

no knife required - you can peel the skin off with your fingers
The first time I tried, or even saw, this fruit, I was in Tuscany with my mom. We were having lunch on the terrace of our hotel in Cortona, and were brought a bowl of these for dessert. Neither of use knew what they were, but we sure enjoyed them! Fresh, tangy, juicy fruit on a sunny terrace in Italy - what's not to love? (Now, there are more flavourful fruits, but part of why I like this one is the memory association. Sun-drenched terrace in Italy, remember?)

Anyway, I brought them up in conversation with Tall Guy. He knew immediately what they were, but not the English name. They're common in (but not native to) Spain, and the season is short (May-ish to June-ish, so now).

"Oh", he said upon hearing my description, "nisperos. We have those on the farm".

"NEE-spair-ohs", I repeated. What a lovely name.

So, what's that in English? A loquat.

And what is a loquat?

A loquat, or Japanese plum, or eriobotrya japonica, is a member of the rose family, related to the apple. They are commonly planted in parks and gardens, as they are evergreen. The fruits, which grow in clusters, have large stones that are poisonous if ingested, and the flesh of the fruit has a mild sedative effect if consumed in large quantities. Hmmm, a midnight snack?


  1. Maybe they would help me sleep at night? They sound delicious! High in carbs but have great benefits.

  2. I remember the first time we had them too! I did see them growing on a tree two days ago in Ronda, but haven't yet found one on the breakfast buffet and I haven't visited a grocery. I must find some!