Loquats have anti-inflammatory and diuretic qualities and promote intestinal regularity.
Ripe fruits have laxative properties while, on the contrary, unripe ones are astringent. Medlars are also a mild antipyretic and help the liver function well.
There are rich in formic acid, a well-known dietary fiber thanks to which they boast a ottimo potere sziante. They are low in calories and many minerals. They contain vitamin A, B vitamins and vitamin C.
The seeds are poisonous as they contain hydrogen cyanide.
The varieties of medlars
The term medlar refers to the fruits of 2 different plants: the European medlar and the Japanese oneAnd. The European medlar is a small and thorny tree that reaches five meters in height; the Japanese medlar which, in spite of the name instead it is originally from China, is a more imposing tree and can reach twice the height of the European one.
Loquats are generally harvested when they are not yet fully ripe. Those europee they are immature very hard and harshand while the Japanese are pleasant and can be consumed even when they have not reached full maturity.
La collection of medlar usually occurs in autumn, but to make them edible you have to wait until March / April.
These fruits often arrive on the market when they are not yet completely ripe mainly for market reasons: in this way they cover a period in which there is no great competition from other seasonal fruit.
Loquats and April fruit
How to grow medlars
Medlar is not a particularly demanding plant and it can easily be grown in a pot, even on the balcony of your own home.
In that case, it is preferable to buy a young medlar tree in a nursery "dwarf" variety, which reaches a maximum of two meters in height and grows well in a 40 or 50 cm pot. There cultivation should preferably be started in autumn.
If, on the other hand, you have a lot of patience, you can even plant the medlar stones. In that case, however, it will be necessary to wait a few years to obtain fruit.
How to eat medlar: the jam recipe
Loquats contain less than 30 calories per 100 grams of product and therefore represent a great snack also for those who want to lose a few kilos in view of the summer.
Like many fruits, then, they lend themselves to the preparation of homemade jams. As often happens when it comes to DIY jams, everyone has their own recipe, here is the one we propose.
> 2 kilos of medlar,
> 800 grams of sugar,
> an apple and a lemon.
Preparation: peel the medlars, remove the stone and cut them into four pieces. Put the fruits in a large pot and add a peeled and chopped apple, the juice of a lemon and the sugar.
Turn on the gas and bring to a boil, after which cook for another hour. Stir often with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
The jam is ready when, by pouring a teaspoon on a plate and tilting it, the mixture does not slip. Store the medlar jam in sterilized jars, closing them tightly and tending them upside down to cool.
Homemade jams can be stored for up to a year. It is advisable to label them with the expiration date and keep them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
The medlars among the ancient and forgotten apples
To learn more:
> Loquats among laxative foods: what they are and when to take them