Loquat (Akedenya)

The highlight of this month of April in Lebanon for us kids  was getting a crate of loquats; they would be gone in a couple of days!

When I moved to Southern California in the eighties,  I used to see these loquat trees everywhere; yet nobody seemed to care and the fruits would fall on the ground or make the birds happy.

Loquats have a short season; that’s  why they are  so special. Their taste is delicate. Same texture as a pear, but with an added tropical flavor, like a mango. They need to taste very sweet, without any hint of acidity. If they are acidic, they were picked too soon.

How to eat? Peel them and nibble at the flesh, discard the big seeds.

I found these loquats at my neighborhood middle-eastern grocery store.

In French these are called nèfles.

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41 Comments

  1. SYLVIA
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Joumana for paying attention to this humble fruit that is often ignored.
    I have a beautiful loquat tree in my backyard with full of loquat clusters in mustard color, sometimes birds peck at the ripe fruit and damage it. don’t underestimate this fruit, it has a lot of potassium, potassium is known to lower blood pressure.

  2. Posted April 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I think I have seen these! What do they taste like? Must. try.

  3. Posted April 29, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    I have never tried these. I love new produce so I am going to be on the lookout!

  4. Posted April 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Do you eat them raw or use them in cooking? I’d love to try them but we don’t have a middle eastern grocery anywhere close!

  5. Posted April 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    THese are very similar to kumquats. Are they from the same family?

  6. Joumana
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think they are from the same family: they are not citrus. We eat them raw, but I know that some people in the US like to make jam with them.

  7. Posted April 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    We had a gorgeous loquat tree in my yard when I was growing up. I and my sister would eat loquats nonstop during their season. It’s such a wonderful fruit!

  8. Posted April 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I want to try these, more so that you told now that they are like mangoes! Never saw them around here :-(

  9. Posted April 29, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    One of the fruits that I really like….In Chinese medicine, loquat is used to soothe the sore throat.
    It’s a pity that they can’t be easily located in Germany.

  10. Posted April 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Nice to learn about this fruit. I have never tried it but will be watching for them now.

  11. Posted April 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow Joumana. I just learned the name of this fruit in English. We used to have them in our yard back in Cyprus and they are juicy and delicious. You can see them growing everywhere in Greece and Cyprus and that is mostly why they are taken for granted. They are known as mousmoula in Greece and Mospila in Cyprus.

  12. Posted April 30, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I love loquats! We used to pinch them from a neighbours tree as kids ;P Also, beautiful story about your dad’s childhood cook – my dad is not very loquacious either so it’s only a few stories I know too.

  13. Posted April 30, 2010 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of that fruit before… surely delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  14. Posted April 30, 2010 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    have never heard or seen these before..thanks 2 u now i am aware of so many diff dishes and a whole new cuisine altogether :)

  15. Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    I get these from the local Asian markets and I’m never in Greece when they are in season, Gotta grab a basketfull.

  16. Posted April 30, 2010 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I have never eaten or even seen these! Are they similar to kumquats? I need to make a trip to my Middle Eastern grocer…STAT.

  17. Posted April 30, 2010 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    i miss eating akedenia :)

  18. Posted April 30, 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve never seen or tasted these before. I wonder if I will ever come across them here in the UK. If I do, I’d love to try them.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH

  19. Posted April 30, 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you! I loved that you told me what these are… much better than my Italian grocer when I asked him… mind you, her was just the stock boy. Love to learn new things like this – AND I got you in my mail box!
    YEAH!
    :)
    Valerie

  20. Posted April 30, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I’ve never had loquats, wish I could find them here!

  21. Posted April 30, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’ve never tasted a loquat. Sounds delicious!

  22. Posted April 30, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I have never seen these! I’m going to hav eto go hunt for the, They sound wonderful!

  23. Posted April 30, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    salut joumana ce sont presque des kumqats ; j’ai appris qss chose grace à toi bizz de la capitale Pierre

  24. Posted April 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I did a post very similar to this a couple of months ago!! Love loquats.

  25. Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Ici, dans le Sud de la France, on a des nèfles, plein de nèfles, et on en sait pas toujours bien quoi en faire, tellement il y en a … Mais ce ne sont pas du tout des kumquats, tu as raison ! Ce ne sont pas des agrumes mais de petits fruits à peau fine, très très doux …

  26. Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Wow, that is such a mouthwatering recipe! So unique and something that I’ve never tried before. I will have to bookmark this.

  27. Posted May 1, 2010 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    This is one of my favorite fruits and I missed them for so many years while living in the States. When I moved to Texas, I was excited when I saw them in people’s front yards as I thought they were not known at all. Then I found out that people don’t eat them over here as you said! Except the birds :) I think people miss on a lot by not eating them. Last year my husband’s co-worker gave him a branch of loquats after my husband told him that these were edible. He brought them home and we ate them. They wer so sweet and delicate! Thanks for this post.

  28. Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I love loquats and live in So Cal where they are indeed everywhere right now. I forage them regularly and you are right nobody cares! GREG

  29. Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I’ve never seen that fruit … never eaten it … but I love when your introduce all this exotic and unusual yummy foodstuff :) xxx

  30. Posted May 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    et dire que je n’y ai jamais goûté …

  31. Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’d seen these around but am not sure I tasted them, now I simply must try anything that tastes like pears and mangoes sounds like a winner to me. I wonder how they are used in dishes? Thanks for the information.

  32. Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    never seen these around but reading your description I hope I find them somewhere around.. sound really tempting.

  33. Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    O here in Algeria loquats have been in since about a month. They are called azorelles here and ironically the town I live is famous for all the beautiful azorelle groves it has.

    How do you prepare your Joumana? Usually here we eat it raw, bruised ones go into confiture or tarts. I made this patsry slice with them the other day.

    Children play with the seeds here, kinda wrong since the seeds are said to be hazardous if eaten.

  34. Posted May 2, 2010 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    I love Akadenya. I have not had this in so long. My mum is the only person i know who buys this fruit and brings it with her from her travels…. Or used to! Such a lovely fruit that is so forgotten. Thanks for the reminder……

  35. Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    In Australia loquat chutney is a very old-fashioned (but delicious) preserve. I’ve seen loquat jam too!

  36. Posted May 2, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I have two huge loquat trees. I have what appears to be hundreds of loquats. Help!!! What do I do with them? Are there any special dishes that you make? I am heading out to google to find some ideas.

  37. Posted May 2, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    My in-laws have a tree in their garden. It’s full of tiny loquats, still too early for the season here. I check it every time I visit, I love ‘em.

  38. Posted May 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Hey Joumana, I have a loquat tree near my house! I recently tried to eat some, but they are so seedy. Yours look nicer with a bit more pulpy fruit inside.
    By the way, thanks for the facebook invite to help me with the spaghetti cake. I don’t have an account though. I know that’s weird, but I just am not ready (smile). I’m going to try the spaghetti cake-it’s the kind of food I love. And I also know my Cauldron boy would be thrilled if he came home and it was cooling on the counter…

  39. soraya
    Posted May 30, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    j’adore les nèfles, que je mangeais étant petite en algérie. Nous avions un nèflier qui donnait tellement de fruits que tout le monde pouvait en profiter ( nous et les oiseaux de tout le quartier!!) .celles que je trouve en france ne sont malheureusement pas aussi bonnes et sucrées( trop fades car elles viennent d’espagne et pour tenir la route elles sont cueillies trop tôt) .En algerie on les mange crues bien sur mais également en confiture et et en tagine: tagine de nèfles farcies, hum !! delicieux. SInon pour ce neflier qui pousse en Algerie, il differt légerement de celui du japon , car il est endémique ici !(il ne pousse qu’ici)Non non je ne je ne suis pas chauvine !!! mais quand même!

  40. soraya
    Posted May 30, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    j’ai revu mon commentaire et la traduction ne veux absolument rien dire!!!!!

  41. katherine
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Loquat is for cough and lung in Chinese medicine. Sometimes i would take the Ninjiom Pei Pa Koa (a famous loquat syrup) when got scratchy throat.

    You can access info online @
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nin_Jiom_Pei_Pa_Koa
    ninjiom.50webs.com

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