Adrian and I bought our house in 2005, and for all these years we’ve regarded the tree in our backyard with a bit of annoyance. It sheds its leaves, then it grows fruit and the birds peck at it and leave their discards in our backyard! We never knew if the fruit was good to eat or not… until now. It was kind of strange looking – growing in little clusters. First the fruit was green, then ripened and turned yellow. The birds love it! The fruits never get larger than about 2-3 inches long, and are maybe an inch and a half to two inches across, if that.
After chatting with a neighbor the other day, I learned that the fruits are actually called loquats, and are indeed edible. I did a little bit of research online and after checking out a few articles, decided to wait for them to ripen and try them. Surprisingly they’re a very low calorie fruit (well, they’re small, so I guess it’s not THAT surprising) and are only about 6 calories for a small loquat! So good for my diet! Saturday morning, Zachary and I were outside watering the garden and I noticed that some of the loquats had begun to ripen. I pulled a few right off the tree, washed them down with the hose, and took a bite. They are SO good! Sweet with a bit of tartness, almost like a sour apricot kind of taste. But personally I thought they were delicious.
Have you tried loquats before? Have you even heard of them? I didn’t know what a loquat was until this week. I can’t believe I’ve lived here for six years and had no idea there was an amazing fruit tree in my backyard!
Here is an Instagram snap of the first three loquats that I tried from our tree!
So… I’m happy to say that I no longer hate the loquat tree. I’m actually going to start taking care of it instead of wishing it didn’t exist. I do wish it wasn’t such a messy tree, but I guess I can help it make a little less messy by harvesting and eating all of the ripened loquats!
According to the internet, loquats are difficult to transport since they’re small and delicate fruits, so it seems like I have a real delicacy growing right in my backyard… you know, right alongside my Home Depot brand beefsteak tomato plant, cilantro, and strawberries. That is fully awesome. Um, any of my local friends want to come try a loquat?!
If you’re interested in learning more about these delectable little fruits, here’s a great article about what they are and how to eat them and another about loquat growing in Florida home landscapes, since my tree happens to be growing in MY Florida home landscape!