Skip to comments.Above the Ocean in Malibu, a Rare Orchard of Loquats
Posted on 05/11/2012 1:53:08 PM PDT by nickcarraway
High on a steep, terraced mountainside in Malibu, with a spectacular view of the Pacific, perches the largest and probably the only commercial planting of loquats in the United States. A pome fruit related to apples and pears, the loquat is one of the great pleasures of spring in Southern California. It has firm but juicy flesh with the texture of cantaloupe and a sweet-tart flavor evoking cherry. The irony is that it is so well-adapted and common as a backyard tree that there's little local demand for the fruit.
"They grow almost like weeds here, so people won't spend money on them," says Dwight Landis, 64, who ships his fruit around the country but found it didn't pay to sell through farmers markets. As a result, despite its uniqueness and proximity, his farm has stayed below the radar of local foodies.
Landis was born in Inglewood and earned degrees in mechanical engineering from Loyola University and Caltech. In 1978, he and his wife, Christine, started a business that makes air sampling equipment, and they began buying 50 acres of raw land in Malibu about a mile from the ocean. He planted avocados to make use of the property, and a few years later, after he had tasted loquats in a Chinese American colleague's garden in Thousand Oaks, he put in a modest orchard.
"They tasted good, and hardly anyone else was growing them, so I said, 'Let's try it,' " he recalls, sounding gently bemused.
Landis thought the trees he bought from a nursery were a classic variety, Gold Nugget, which is supposed to be large, with thick orange flesh, but he ended up with small fruits and thin, yellowish pulp. He therefore grafted over the trees to his Thousand Oaks friend's selection, which is round to slightly pear-shaped,
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Yeah, but they were great slingshot ammo for us kids to shoot at each other.
We pelted each other with them as kids.. we had oranges, lemons, and other fruit. Kumquats tasted like arse.
* cough *
The best part of a Kumquat is the skin. Sweet.
The flesh is sour like a sour orange.
*bursts out crying*