Praise to The Italian Loquat Fruit

The season of winter fruit like kiwi, oranges and clementine is finished yet spring fruit is not out yet. Not easy for a seasonal fruit junkie like myself! Imagine how happy I was to discover Italian loquat fruit, or nespole as they are called here. This small plain looking orange fruit’s season starts early in April.

Loquat was introduced in Italy at the end of the 18th century and spread quickly across the country. Perhaps, the popular believe in loquat’s magic powers helped its proliferation: almost every household in the Italian countryside had a nespolo tree as it was said to keep evil witches and bad luck away. Not sure about the witches but a loquat tree is, certainly, a magnet for Italian kids who love climbing up the branches to pick the free treats.

loquart fruit

I buy nespole at local markets. The darker shade of orange the better! Never mind brown bruises or the fruit’s small size. I peel the skin and devour their refreshing tangy juicy flesh with a hint of citrus. One kilo of nespole a day keeps me smiling till first strawberries and apricots come out.

In a typical Italian manner nothing goes to waste and the stones from the fruit are used to make Nespolino, a bitter sweet type of liquor. With all the nespole I gobble up I can make buckets of that alcoholic beverage!

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5 Responses
  • azzurrodiary
    April 4, 2016

    I know the Nespole already, but I have to give it a second try – your article certainly helped me do that 😉

    • Italy With Gusto
      April 4, 2016

      Stefanie, I think, the secret is to pick the ones that are darker orange as they are the ripest and have a better taste.

  • timelessitaly
    April 5, 2016

    All news to me…..thanks!!

  • Cassidy S
    April 5, 2016

    Wow! Never heard of this fruit. Will have to try it sometime!

  • angelkahemmings
    April 26, 2016

    Well, just got back from VENICE – I bought a pack of these NESPOLE and like a lot of people had never heard of them – especially in England where I am! I absolutely devoured them, they were so delicious and as most people have said citrusy. I am going to plant the stones and hope something come of them – even they are pleasant looking. I doubt I’ll get a tree in my lifetime and probably it wouldn’t survive in our Englishclimate. I am going to see if I can find these delicious fruits in any of our supermarkets. To be honest, when I bought tham I thought I was buying apricots so what a pleasant surprise! Angela, Northampton. UK

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