An extraordinary fruit - the medlar

An extraordinary fruit - the medlar

What does this fruit look like?

Medlars used to be much better known than they are today. They are extraordinarily different from most of the fruits known in this country. They are also known as stone apples because they are extremely hard and inedible before exposure to frost.

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They are vaguely reminiscent of quinces or pears, but are usually much smaller. While the original medlar grows to between 2 and 4 cm, cultivars grow up to 7 cm. Are spherical and flattened, colored brown when ripe and have a felt-like shell. A distinctive feature are the sepals of the flowers, which are still preserved on the fruits.

When are they ripe?

Medlars can be harvested after the first frosts in autumn. The ideal harvest time is between the beginning of November and the beginning of December. If they grow in areas without frost, they can ripen in fruit boxes on straw after harvesting.

The frost or subsequent ripening causes the fruits to become soft and the tannins they contain to evaporate. Before that, they are not very tasty and because of the high amount of tannins they are astringent, which is noticeable in the mouth by an unpleasant contracting sensation.

When ripe, the medlars are:

  • doughy-soft
  • musky
  • Sweet and sour, tart and nutty in taste

What can they be used for?

Ripe fruits can be used to propagate the plant. To do this, the kernels contained in the dough-like pulp are freed and cleaned. They can be planted in the spring. However, this method of propagation is considered to be extremely tedious ...

The medlars are not poisonous and can therefore be eaten raw or cooked. Raw they can be picked directly from the bush or tree and eaten. They are suitable for processing into jam, puree, puree, compote, juice and wine. They can be combined well with wide autumn fruits such as apples, rose hips and sloes.

In addition to their good taste, the medlars convince with their health value. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals and trace elements and become a valuable fruit for the autumn season, which is characterized by colds. Taken internally, they promote digestion, have anti-inflammatory effects and slow down calcification processes (helpful, for example, with arteriosclerosis)

Tips & Tricks

Loquats cannot be stored for long when they are soft. Keep them in the refrigerator and eat them within five days.