Loquats are the first stone fruits that usually appear in the year, since their season marks the beginning of spring. Although we are talking about a tropical fruit, its plant is one of the most adaptable in the world, so it can be cultivated almost anywhere on Earth.
The loquat is a small, yellowish orange fruit, with a thin, smooth skin, and is very easy to peel. As for its flesh, it is fleshy and has a strong and characteristic aroma, which sweetens as the fruit ripens. Its stone is characteristic, as each loquat has about four stones inside, in the shape of an elongated seed. The variety that you can buy in Huerta de Pancha is the Golden Nugget loquat, a variety that is very common in the Axarquía area.
Other loquat varieties of Japanese origin are the Argelino, which has a yellowish colour and a more acidic flavour; the Tanaka is a sweeter and larger fruit than the others; and the Peluche stands out for its elongated shape and less sweet flavour than the others.
Our loquat plant crops
Loquat trees can reach a height of between three and seven metres, and their cultivation must be carried out in autumn in subtropical climates, and in more tropical areas it can be done several times a year.
Our loquat plants stand out for their branching. From a very low height, the trunk starts to drop branches. The trunk also tends to be very straight and the loquat plant generally has shallow roots.
Its leaves are lanceolate, covered with hairy hairs and range in length from 15 to 20 centimetres. Once it enters its reproductive period, it produces very small white flowers, which are grouped at the top of the branches and most of them bear fruit.
The loquat is harvested by hand, taking the fruit directly from the tree. This is because they are non-climacteric fruits, which means that they do not continue to ripen after harvesting.
The lifespan of a loquat tree varies between thirty and fifty years.
Loquats contain a large amount of essential nutrients for the human body. This includes a good amount of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These nutrients are necessary to maintain overall good health.
Loquats are high in vitamin C, a nutrient that helps the body fight infection and disease. This fruit also contains a good amount of vitamin A, which helps to improve skin health. In addition, loquats contain a significant amount of minerals, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. These minerals are necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
How you will receive the Huerta de Pancha’s loquats
Our loquats are harvested at their optimum point. The optimum harvesting point, in the case of medlars, coincides with the point of ripeness for consumption. In other words, they arrive ready to eat. For packaging, we use special 100% recyclable cardboard baskets for the loquats. This prevents them from coming into contact with the other fruit and minimises damage during transport. We always try to ensure that our loquats arrive fresh and with their authentic flavour. The skin of the loquat is delicate and may occasionally show small brown spots which do not mean that they are damaged or spoiled.
How to preserves loquats
The loquat should not be exposed to direct sunlight as it spoils the fruit. Therefore, the fruit should preferably be stored in a suitable place away from any heat source. If they are to be consumed in the short term, the pantry would be the ideal place as it offers a cool environment. We do not recommend storing them in the refrigerator as the cold can alter their flavour.
Another way to preserve them for a longer period of time is to turn them into jam. Following the packaging process correctly, it can last up to a year.
How to eat loquats
Loquats are mainly consumed raw, as fresh fruit. They are also used to make sauces, jellies, jams, jellies and confectionery products, as well as juices or syrups. In some cases they are eaten in stews and in Bermuda a distinctive liqueur is made from them.
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