The off-season brings us one of the most abundant Bermudian culinary delicacies. The Loquat, a yellow-orange plum-like fruit, which grow on luxuriant trees throughout the island, is a staple in not only Bermuda’s colorful landscapes but island kitchens as well.
Introduced from the Orient by Governor Reid in 1850 as a fruit crop, Loquats were imported to get local birds to stop eating expensive Bermuda citrus. The Loquat tree thrives in sheltered areas and its delicious fruit ripens in the late winter or early spring. They are tart but delicious, fresh or preserved, in fact many Bermudians eat ripe loquats straight off the tree.
Throughout the winter months, you may find the ‘Loquat’ featured on many menus island wide, including cocktail menus. Start you meal off with a very smooth (but potent) Loquat liqueur, which uses gin, vodka or rum as the spirit base. Loquat relish or chutney has a nice piquancy and is a flavorful addition to meat of fish dishes, while Loquat jam is a delicious condiment for toast, bread or as an accompaniment to a chees board. Finally, finish that meal off with one of the many desserts featuring this local delight, which recipes include Loquat Soufflé or Loquat pie.