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Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
I had a huge smile on my face today, finding my favourite fruit for the first time ever on Norwich market
Being so early in the season, they looked pristine like these (but to the touch felt like they weren't badly under-ripe):

Later in April and into May, they bruise incredibly easily, but that's typically a good sign and for instance fruit that looks like this should be bought with confidence

Whilst the skin is edible, we peel them, remove the 3-6 large seeds inside and the quite bitter pith, and either eat them with other fresh fruit, or with yoghurt and granola for breakfast. Especially when fully / a little over-ripe, they are incredibly juicy and even a faint touch of bitterness adds a little complexity / contrast to the fruit.

Also know as nispero in Spain, medlar in the UK (but I'm not sure our medlars are the same fruit, or at least variety), and loquat elsewhere.

Today I am very happy indeed, as otherwise it requires a 2hr train trip down to London and walk to Borough Market.


1000+ Posts
They do look different to the medlar fruit I grow in my garden (and which have a variety of rude colloquial names). They are the rose family with pretty white flowers in May/June and are related to apples etc. These are rock hard on the tree and have to be 'bletted' for 2-3 weeks to make them edible. They then go soft and taste a bit like figs. They make a lovely jelly.



1000+ Posts
Agree with Ian about the pleasure of finding a favorite fruit back in its season. Loquats are to be especially appreciated : bats and birds usually force growers to put their trees under nets (also helps to prevent damage from frosts, as the fruit develops in winter), while thinning the bunches of flowers (to insure market-sized fruits) is also labor-intensive. Add to that the fact that these fruits are ripe for only a short time, don't ripen if picked early, and easily bruise - and you get a fruit that indeed deserves a compliment when you see it.
Here in Israel I have seen experimental varieties of this crop, so I suppose that there is an interest in trying to make the fruit more appealing, both to growers and customers.

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
It's my first time seeing this fruit. How's the taste?
It depends on the time of year / ripeness. In April they tend to be firmer (and pristine looking), but still softer and with more flavour than under-ripe stone fruits. As you head towards May, the greater ripeness gives it a little more sweetness, but IIRC there's a bit more complexity as well. Difficult to describe the flavour without having one in front of me! Melon is sometimes used as a reference flavour, but that does it a dis-service, as there are too many bland melons in the UK, but it does share that same juiciness, especially when riper. The profile isn't melon, but closer to that than say apricot or peach.

In terms of what to buy, don't be put off by a little bruising, as light bruising is perhaps ideal as it shows there is ripeness and it bruises ever so easily. That said, pristine ones last well in the fridge and we've taken to getting a lot, moving a few at a time to the fruit bowl to ripen faster before eating.

How to eat? The skin if fine to eat, but I typically halve them, empty out the large seeds, peel and remove pith that easily comes away, but not all, as this adds a little pleasing bitterness to balance the sweetness.

We mostly eat it as a breakfast with yoghurt / granola etc. but it's super to eat on it's own or in a fruit salad. Probably very good in cakes as well, but they tend to get eaten before that.

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
Thanks for the explanation, Ian. Gotta check for them in local supermarket here.
Might be a struggle at the moment, as I think the season is Apr-Jun (possibly stretching into July). I've tried canned from an Asian supermarket, but it wasn't the same.

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