- Author: Lauria Watts
No lamas here, but bama-lama but it went well with Loquat-a-rama. Mainly I wanted to suggest to try some loquats. Secondarily I wanted to share some confusion that I tunneled into with my rabbit-hole search for loquat recipes for canning.
Let's forge on: Have you noticed a lot of trees around with big leaves and with bunches of orange-apricoty looking fruit? If you are driving, you will notice clusters of bright fruit at the end of branches; they contrast quite prettily with the dark, long leaves. If you were walking by, you may have noticed fallen fruit. The fruit is usually smushed on the sidewalk, orange or yellow, has large pits/seeds in the middle and where exposed to the air is turning brown; you may notice bird/animal pecks in these fallen fruit. These are you neighborhood loquat trees. Around my house they are commonly seen in parkway landscaping, or hanging over fences at the backs and sides of yards.
Some of the fruit you see on the parkway trees is quite tasty, some not so much. If you see some hanging over a fence, try one (if you can reach it) as backyard trees are more likely to be planted from named, good-fruited variety. If a tree has come up as a volunteer from dropped seed the fruit can be pretty tasty as the small, young looking tree I recently found on a walk. A larger, older looking tree was not so tasty, though it was edible. Of course with my luck the smaller tree had very nice, sweet fruit with a nice acid balance but there was not much flesh around the large seeds. Its older neighbor had more fruit flesh, but not as lush a flavor. Loquats seem to have different flavor(s) depending on what the variety of the tree is, how ripe it is and who is tasting it. I think a good one tastes like a combination of apricot and tangerine with some mango thrown in. My sister says it tastes like a combination of pineapple, plum, maybe some apricot and some banana. Same fruit we both tasted, but different times and perhaps ripeness!
Anyway, these are all examples the Loquat tree. Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica; AKA Japanese Medlar, Japanese Plum, Chinese Plum, Pipa [in China], nespolo [in Italy], nispero [in Spain] and nespera [in Portugal]).
A recipe for loquat jelly without pectin at the NCHFP (Loquat Jelly without pectin ). This is the only approved recipe I could find. I have tasted canned loquats at fairs years ago. Since there is an NCHFP approved recipe for jelly, am I correct in deducing that loquats are a high-acid fruit? The recipe calls for loquats that are still hard-more pectin, more acid, right? But to make the jelly you are instructed to pick "Select full size loquats that are still hard" - But that is not saying they are a high acid fruit; I just don't know.
So I did a search. . . and on this page “Master List of Typical pH and Acid Content of Fruits and Vegetables for Home Canning and Preserving” at https://pickyourown.org/ph_of_fruits_and_vegetables_list.htm . I found loquats are listed at 5.10 pH, so they are borderline in acidity for sure, but the list says, and I quote, “May be acidified to pH 3.8.” Seems like a mandatory addition of bottled lemon juice or citric acid is necessary if one wants to boiling-water bath preserve them. But there are no approved recipes (NCHFP approved, that is). Sigh.
All that searching and sifting of info go made me tired. So much info but not enough on canning them or jamming them up! My go to: Loquats can be frozen (Freezing Loquats), and if you freeze them you don't need to worry about acidifiying them. Find some good ones and freeze then defrost some and try them in the following recipes. (Make sure you ask for fruit if it is not on your property and try a few first to see if they agree with you.)
Of course you can use them fresh in the following recipes!
More Loquat information:
And if you go here: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and put "Loquat" in the search box, you will find a lot more information about Loquats.