If you don’t live in southern California, you’d be forgiven for not knowing what a loquat is. Hell, a lot of Los Angeleans don’t even know. That’s because the fuzzy orange fruit that grows all over the city is largely ignored in kitchens — and entirely ignored commercially.
Well it’s time to put a stop to loquat neglect. Boasting a sweet-tart flavor that falls somewhere between an apricot and a mango, the abundant fruit has plenty of culinary potential. Writing at LAist, Heather Parlato outlines a bunch of great loquat applications, from loquat salsa and loquat sambal, to a loquat tea smoothie and loquat strawberry pie. She also created this loquat ginger chutney recipe that looks delectable.
1 TB canola oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp curry powder
10 loquats, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs fresh ginger root, minced
1 fresh serrano pepper, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the cumin, mustard, and curry powder, sauté another minute.
Add the loquats and toss to mix through, 1 minute. Add the vinegar, Serrano pepper, ginger and salt, and simmer on medium heat about 30 minutes until reduced to a thick sauce.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator, or let cool for use in your next meal.
To find them, check out Fallen Fruit where the trees are marked on their public fruit maps. Now hit the streets and get picking!
Photo: Heather Parlato / LAist