Loquat Eriobotrya japonica Japanese Plum, Japanese Medlar
The loquat, an ancient fruit grown in Japan for the past 1,000 years, is probably native to the cooler hill regions of China and southern Japan. The loquat is grown commercially on a wide scale in Japan, and to a lesser extent in China, the United States, Brazil, and southern Europe.
Orange-yellow, fleshy fruit, usually with one or two large seeds, and a delicious sweet flavor, sometimes akin to an apricot or apple with a high sugar, acid and pectin content. The pulp is eaten as a fresh fruit and mixes well with other fruits in fresh fruit salads or fruit cups.
Loquat fruits should be allowed to ripen fully before harvesting. When ripe the fruit develops a distinctive color, and begins to soften. Unripe fruits do not ripen properly off the tree and are excessively acidic. Ripe fruit may be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks.
Fruits are also processed into juices, jams, jellies, desserts and are delicious poached in light syrup.
Loquats can also be used to make wine.