Nesperas Or Loquats - The First Fruit To Be Harvested

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Thursday, April 23, 2015 Under: food and drink

In the Algarve the 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. 

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 drink 

Tags: nesperas  nespereira  loquat  recipe loquat 

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About Me

Marianne Hoesen Born in the deep south of The Netherlands, I moved to the central Algarve in 2007, together with my partner and 2 dogs. In the meantime we added some goats and chickens and are living a peaceful life in the rolling hills of the rural south of Portugal. I invite you to read a bit in my blog and to leave a comment afterwards. Also check out the holiday accommodations mentioned elsewhere in this website.


Algarve Portugal
café Portugal, bica
Esteva, rock rose, Algarve
sun, beach, Algarve
real cork real wine
beach Algarve
folklore dance Algarve
chicken piri piri