Sunday, May 1, 2011

Whenever I go to the pazar in Istanbul, I never know what a new day might yield.

This weekend, we bought half a brown bag of these small, strange, oblong, yellow fruits.

In Turkey, a bowl of fresh loquats - slightly bruised but still delicious.
In Turkey, these are called malta eriği aka Maltese plum or a loquat in other parts of the world, and they are one of the newest fruits at the pazar. I’ve never seen these in the U.S. - as they are indigenous to southeastern China - but apparently they are grown in Hawaii and California. Japan is the leading producer of loquats, followed by Israel and Brazil.

(Update May 2014: from our last trip to Istanbul, loquat seems to be a much more common word now.)

Today, I sliced into a couple of them. The malta eriği taste a little like an apple, but sweet and tangy almost like a plum. We also found out they brown quickly like an apple once they are sliced and left out in a bowl, but still tasty.

While they are delicious fresh, I’m just unsure what to do with all of them. Any ideas?

A quick search on the Internet yields several recipes for loquat jams and chutneys. Then, I came across this one in Saveur Magazine for ground lamb meatballs with loquats that sounds interesting and fairly easy. We don’t have a grill so I’ll have to make do with our indoor grill pan.

Until then, we’ll just enjoy eating the malta eriği fresh.

Afiyet olsun!

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Julia said...

Love these. They've been out in Fethiye for the last couple of weeks and our fridge is full of them. I put them in my muesli in the mornings. Those lamb meatballs sound interesting. :)

Anonymous said...

Malta Eriği?? is that different from a Yeni Dunya? We have those everywhere down here in southern Turkey and they're great!

Joy said...

Hi FP, The signs at the pazar here say Malta Eriği, but I understand they are also known as the Yeni Dunya as you mentioned. I'm pretty sure they are the same thing.

Def. going to try them with lamb soon! =-)

Unknown said...

They are delicious even if they look beat up! The thing is to eat Yeni Dunya Kebabı right now at your favourite kebab place - it's very succulent because of this fruit added to onion and fresh garlic. They prepare it at the table for you ie roll it up in a dürüm with all the juices and give it to you! Very tasty.

Unknown said...

With minced lamb!!

Joy said...

Excellent idea! I will have to see if our place in Besiktas does this. Thanks Claudia!