A fruit of Asian origin that is grown in regions throughout the world where sub-tropical to mild climates prevail, but not in climates that are too humid or hot. The tree that produces this fruit is classified as an evergreen, which is from the same plant family as the trees bearing apples, peaches and plums. Small in size and shaped somewhat like a pear, the Loquat grows in clusters to a length of 2 to 3 inches before being harvested. A thin yellow outer skin that may be somewhat chewy covers a white translucent or pale orange inner meat. The white-fleshed varieties will typically be members of the Gold Nugget, the Strawberry or the Tanaka family of Loquats while the orange-fleshed fruits will be from the Advance, Champagne or Vista White Loquat families. Within the center of this fruit, a group of 1 to 5 large seeds can be found that are deep brown in color.
When mature, the Loquat provides a juicy meat with a sweet flavor that may at times be mildly tart or tangy. High in vitamin A, the Loquat is often served to be eaten out of hand, prepared for fruit salads, combined with meats to enhance the flavors, or made into pie fillings, jams, jellies and sauces. To store, keep unripened fruits at room temperature until they have fully ripened when it is best to store them refrigerated in a plastic bag. This fruit may also be referred to as a Asian or Japanese plum, a Japanese medlar, or a May apple.