Califruitopia ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

12 May 2008


We've established by now that I can't STAND the constant food waste in California. This makes fruit season simultaneously exciting and horrific.

Exciting: there are tons of different fruits everywhere! No one cares if I pick the vast bounty of loquats hanging over their back fence (or in their apartment lot, where None of it ever gets eaten). They're barely aware the loquats are there, and what are loquats anyway? Horrific: if no one picks the vast bounty of loquats, they fall off the tree and rot on the sidewalk. Plus, trees are tall: it's hard to reach the vast majority of the fruit, so it falls off and rots on the sidewalk no matter what. If it were practical or socially acceptable to walk around with a stepladder picking other people's fruit, I would be hauling pints of high-hanging fruit around all day.

Here are some edibles I see growing just randomly around my neighborhood:
- lemons
- oranges
- grapefruit
- limes
- tangerines
- pommelos
- pomegranates
- grapes
- olives
- figs (3 types)
- rosemary
- sage
- plums
- loquats

These are loquats. I didn't know what they were until about two weeks ago, when I stumbled on Rabbit Food. I had definitely seen all kinds of the trees around, dripping with pounds of fruit, and had wondered what they could possibly be, but that was it.

What they are is freaking delicious. Why aren't these in the stores?

Oh, I know.

They have a membrane around the seeds. We live in America, Land of Convenience.

Fortunately, I don't care about convenience. Fruit getting under my thumbnail is ok too. So get in there and cut your loquat in half. You can peel the skin right off with your hands. The seed membranes are slightly slippery, but no big deal to remove. Then you get to eat your loquat. Rabbit Food said they tasted like a cross between an apricot and a cherry. Correct! Just thinking about the rarity and expense of both apricots and cherries, as opposed to this abundance of shrubby loquat trees, makes me mad.

Dear California: PICK AND EAT YOUR FRUIT!! If I were you, I'd be up to my elbows in lemon marmalade. I'm just saying.

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