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,
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Kinda like that lady breastfeeding her 10-year old boy on the cover of Time Magazine.
My buddy here on Maui has a farm upcountry and has several Loquat trees on it. They fall on the ground and rot as no one around here likes them. Not that good, not much flesh as the seed is so big and the skin is not good to eat either. I’m still trying to figure out how we can make loquat wine or liquor out of them.
Common is S. Fla.
Ate many of them when I was a kid.
Lychees? Taste ok but have a skunklike odor to me.
Loquat wine needs to age at least one year.
Therefore, it would be best to plan in advance.
9 pounds whole fresh loquats with pits in place.
7 pounds if pits are removed.
(Fresh, ripe picked is best. Wash before using.)
2 gallons boiling water
Juice of 1 lemon
(Used as an anti-oxidant)
5 pounds sugar
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient, if available
1 package wine yeast, if available
1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme, if available
1 campden tablet, if available
In a large container such as a 5 or 6 gal heavy duty plastic bucket or an earthenware crock, mash the loquats. Cover with boiling water, add lemon juice, and quickly stir for about two minutes. Cover with a clean linen cloth. Let rest in a cool, dark place, stirring daily for one week. You can also blend in 1 package wine yeast and 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient, if available.
After one week, strain the mixture through a double-layer of cheesecloth into a large, clean bowl, discarding loquat pulp and pits if any. Combine loquat liquid with the sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. You can also add pectic enzyme and crushed campden tablet, if available. Pour into cleaned container such a plastic bucket or crock and let stand another week, stirring daily.
After the second week, pour the loquat liquid into 1-gallon glass wine bottles or similar container and cork loosely. Use fermentation locks instead of corks, if you have them. Let rest in a cool, dark place for 3 months. When wine is clear and no longer fermenting (bubbling), pour into individual bottles, cork, and age at least 1 year before drinking this delicious loquat wine.
Will yield approximately 2-1/2 gallons or 40 servings.
What’s the difference between Loquats and Kumquats?
Loqauts are sweet Kumqauts are citris
It’s all a matter of taste
Add sugar and yeast.
I live in Central Texas and have a very large Loquat tree in my yard. I let the Blue Jays have them. The butterflies like the rotting fruit as well. I have a neighboor who comes over and picks them and she makes jelly with them. Kinda tasts like marmalade.
I had some today at the Chinese buffet.
They even grow in Houston in the gumbo soil.
Definitely relevant. Do you have mommy issues?
In addition to the fruit, it is a nice, small shade tree & a good privacy/noise screen.
You can also make a tea from the leaves.
But are a lot more fun to say than loquats.