New & Now

Forgotten Fruit, Part II

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Forgotten fruits are almost in need of their own column around here lately. Last week, quince was on the agenda. This week, we’re talking about loquats.

The fruit, with a cherry-like flavor and a texture reminiscent of melon, makes an appearance in Southern California’s spring season, where it also tends to “grow like a weed.” For that reason, there is very little market demand, and as such, they’ve been almost entirely neglected by American farmers. (Sound familiar?) They’re also the divas of produce (read: are high-maintenance to farm). In the world of agriculture, the cards seemed to be stacked against the poor loquat.

But what about in the world of cooking? We hear they make a lovely Indian chutney. Or you could eat them straight off of the tree. Either way, you’ll be one pome closer to discovering - or rediscovering, as the case may be - the weirder, less desirable cousins of apples and pears.

Market Watch: Above the ocean in Malibu, a rare orchard of loquats
from LA Times