Which fruit is called Chinese plum or Chinese grape?

Answered by John Hunt

The fruit that is commonly referred to as the Chinese plum or Chinese grape is actually the loquat (Eriobotrya japonica). While the name may be slightly misleading, the loquat is not a true plum or grape, but rather a fruit that belongs to the Rosaceae family.

The loquat is native to China and has been cultivated there for centuries. It is also grown in other parts of Asia, as well as in regions with a Mediterranean climate. The fruit is small and round, with a smooth or slightly fuzzy skin that can range in color from yellow to orange. Its flesh is juicy and sweet, with a tangy flavor that is reminiscent of both apricots and citrus fruits.

I first encountered the loquat during a trip to China, where it is a popular fruit and often enjoyed fresh or used in various culinary preparations. I was immediately captivated by its unique taste and texture. The sweetness of the fruit was balanced by a refreshing tartness, making it a delightful snack on hot summer days.

In Chinese cuisine, the loquat is commonly used in desserts, jams, and even alcoholic beverages. Its juice is sometimes mixed with honey or sugar to create a refreshing drink. The fruit can also be stewed or baked, and its distinctive flavor can enhance both sweet and savory dishes.

One of the reasons the loquat is sometimes called the Chinese plum is its resemblance to plums in terms of size and shape. Additionally, the fruit’s skin can be similar in color to some plum varieties. However, it is important to note that the loquat and plum are not closely related from a botanical standpoint.

Similarly, the loquat is occasionally referred to as the Chinese grape due to the fruit’s clusters that resemble grape bunches. However, the loquat’s texture and flavor are quite different from that of grapes.

The fruit known as the Chinese plum or Chinese grape is actually the loquat. While it may share some visual similarities with plums and grapes, it is important to recognize that the loquat is a distinct fruit with its own unique characteristics and flavor profile. So, the next time you come across a loquat, give it a try and experience the delightful taste of this Chinese fruit.