What exactly is a loquat? While cultured fruit lovers know it very well, many shoppers used to perusing the larger chains won’t often find it available, and even if they did, may not be willing to give it a shot due to unfamiliarity. However, anyone looking for a diabolically delicious ingredient to throw into a fruit salad would be benefited greatly by just giving it a shot. A distant relative of the apple, the loquat is a tree fruit similar in sugar and pectin content, but with a slightly higher acidity. The tree itself thrives in a sub-tropic, mild climate, and is used primarily as an ornamental tree. Right now, Japan is the chief exporter of loquats, followed by Israel and Brazil.
Loquat Culture and History
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The fruit is also rich with insoluble dietary fiber and pectin, which retains moisture in the colon and functions as a bulk laxative. Pectin helps to decrease the colon’s exposure time to toxic substances, and binds cancer-causing chemicals, rendering them ineffective. Aside from a bevy of antioxidants and acids found in the fruit, loquat also is a good source of copper, manganese, and iron, which can be most beneficial to vegans and vegetarians with a lack of red meat in their diets.