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The Australian Women’s Weekly once ran a feature claiming the Loquat was “the sweetest softest fruit of Spring”! A bold claim because to the inexperienced consumer the Loquat can look like an Apricot gone wrong.
Loquat’s originated in south eastern China over a 1000 years ago and it is believed early Chinese immigrants carried the Loquat to Australia. The Australian climate is very conducive to growing of them.
The Loquat is an early spring fruit. They are typically oval in shape and are about 3 to 5cm’s long. The skin is usually yellow or orange with a smooth or lightly furry covering. The flesh of the loquat is most likely white, yellow or orange and the flavour has been described as a mixture of peach, citrus and mild mango.
The loquat fruit is not terrible hardy and bruises very easily. When buying, seek out your local greengrocer for advice.
From a nutritional point of view the loquat is low in saturated fat and sodium, and is high in vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, and manganese.
Per 100g’s of fresh Loquat you’ll receive –
197kj of energy or 47 calories
12.14g of Carbohydrates
0.2g of fats and
0.34g’s of protein.
As well as as great eating when fresh and ripe the Loquat mixes well in fresh fruit salads. The fruits are also used to make jam, jelly, and chutney, and are often served poached in light syrup.
If you get the chance take pity on the ‘apricot gone wrong’ and try a locally grown Loquat when in season.