If you are in the Austin area, you have seen loquats, although you may not have realized what you’re looking at. Ideally you will have loquats in your yard, or in the yard of a friend who doesn’t know what to do with them. If you don’t, the Loquat Fest Governing Council keeps a list of known loquat trees in right of way or public access which an aspiring loquat cook can access. It is believed that a semi-mythical figure known as Johnny Loquat has been planting loquat trees in public spaces throughout Austin, giving us all the gift of loquat. Contact us and we may be able to help you out!
When picking loquats you want to look for yellow to orange color. For very high trees you can try shaking the branches and that will cause the ripest loquats to fall to the ground where they can be easily picked up by even the shortest of us. This can cause bruising and splitting however, which may not be desirable for all recipes. I was describing this problem to a German friend of mine, and she said, “Why not use a apfelpflücker?” This is basically a clawed basket on a pole. It is not as fast as picking with your hands, but it does open up picking possibilities for the serious loquat enthusiast.