May 7, 2014
For years I could not tell a loquat from a kumquat. I didn’t like either fruit, so I ignored them and continued to confuse them.
About now, SoCal gardens are finishing another season of loquats and kumquats. Many of the trees, planted by a former generation of gardeners, drop their fruit unceremoniously.
My cousin brought me a jar of kumquat marmalade recently. He called on a Saturday for advice and a recipe. His tree in Los Angeles was dripping with kumquats. The marmalade is delicious–tart but with hints of apricot.
This spring, my friend Betsy’s loquat tree bore yet another golden harvest. She and her husband, Ed love loquats. Ed grew up in LA and gleaned the fruit from neighborhood trees. Betsy hailed from New Hampshire and knew nothing of loquats until she met Ed.
So shouldn’t we learn to love fruit such as loquats and kumquats since they grow so easily in our Mediterranean climate? (I’d add strawberry guavas to the list but that’s another story). They’re so undemanding of water, fertilizer and a gardener’s attention.
Please enjoy Betsy’s blog post How to Love a Loquat. Even if a loquat never passes your lips you’ll remember her humor and wit. While you’re there, read some of her other thoughtful reflections on “family, fellow travelers and food.”
And yes, now I can distinguish a loquat from a kumquat and actually have learned to like them both.
Read about my experiences with loquats last year here. I hate to admit I still have some loquat puree in my freezer. Maybe I’ll have a tropical smoothie for breakfast tomorrow.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Marro