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sao marcos da serra, park

The Nêspereira or Loquat Tree

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 Under: food and recipes

In São Marcos da Serra people just love their Nêspereira (loquat tree). This evergreen, easy to grow, tree (Eriobotrya japonica) originates from China and Japan and is not only ornamental, but it also has wonderful tasty fruit. You can find these trees in every garden, no matter how small.

The fruit of this tree is called the loquat (nespera in Portuguese) and is related to the apple and the pear. It is the first fruit to ripen in the springtime. It is rich in beta-caroteen, fibres, kalium, vitamin A, pectine and has only 45 calories per 100 gram. It is supposed to detoxify the intestines and lower bad cholesterol levels. The loquat bruses easily and should be handled very carefully. It tastes a lot better than it looks. The taste reminds me of a crossing of apricot and apple.

It is eaten as a fresh fruit and mixes well with other fruits in fresh fruit salads or fruit cups. Firm, slightly immature fruits are best for making pies or tarts. The fruits are also commonly used to make jam, jelly, and chutney, and are delicious poached in light syrup. 

The seeds of loquat fruit contain many toxic alkaloids like cyanogenic glycosides which when consumed can cause serious life threatening symptoms like vomiting, breathlessness, and death. Therefore, especially children are advised to avoid chewing seeds and should be supervised by adults while eating loquat fruits.


Recipe for a loquat cake - bolo de nesperas

500 gr deseeded nesperas in halves
4 large eggs
200 gr sugar
200 gr flour
1 bsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
5 tbsp olive oil (extra virgem)

beat the eggs and the sugar
add flour, baking powder, milk and oil and mix well
fold in the fruit
bake at 180 degrees C for 40 to 45 minutes
check with skewer for doneness

For more interesting facts on this special fruit and its health benefits have a look here:

In : food and recipes 

Tags: nespera  nespereira  loquat  eriobotrya japonica  são marcos da serra 
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