Japanese medlar


The medlar is the fruit of the nisperero, tree of the family of the Rosy ones and it is used also like ornamental plant. This family includes more than 2.000 species of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees distributed by moderate regions of the whole world. The principal European fruits, in addition to the rosebush, belong to this big family. To the Japanese medlar it is not necessary him to confuse with the common or European medlar since popularly both are known as medlars.


There is called he to this fruit a medlar of the Japan, to distinguish it from the European medlar, although in fact it is a question of an original species of oriental China. From there one extended Japan, where from one spread Europe about the XVIIIth century like ornamental tree. In the XIXth century the consumption of the fruits began in the whole Mediterranean area, where he adapted himself very well to the areas of cultivation of the citrus fruits. It was at the end of the 60s and beginning of the 70 when the intensive cultivation of this tree began to develop, on having implanted to him the varieties and at present used cultivation skills. Today, it is a fruit tree which cultivation is much extended in the whole world both by his ornamental value and by his valued fruits. The principal producing countries are in Asia (Japan, China, India, Pakistan), Mediterranean countries (Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Israel, Turkey...) and warm America (California and Florida, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela).

The medlar was introduced in Spain by merchant sailors specifically in Sagunto (Valencia), it does more than two thousand years, and from here it spread over the whole Levant and Southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, finding the best habitat for his spread and development in areas of the Mediterranean coast, in particular in Almuñecar (Granada), in Corny d'En Sarria (Alicante), region where the medlars enjoy Denomination of Origin and in Malaga. 37 % of the Spanish production is assined to the European exportation, principally to Italy and only 7 % is assined to tinned. Other producing countries are: Japan, Brazil, Algeria and the India. In these countries it is cultivated on a large scale and from very remote times. Good prices are obtained, especially in the early ones, but it needs an important investment in labor, which there represents 66 % of the entire costs. Nevertheless, the perspectives of future of the medlar are good, since it is a fruit that covers the hollow between the oranges and the first fruits of bone. There can be considered to be two groups of cultivares: the Japanese, which is characterized for having minor number of seeds, an earlier maturation and a clearer coloration of the fruits, both of the skin and of the pulp; and the Chinese, with a few opposite characteristics.

Numerous varieties exist in every cultivation country. The most widespread are:

Algerie or Algerian (Algar): there are a few fruits periformes, with skin of yellow - orange color, pulp yellow cream and very agreeable sweet and sour flavor. Normally they do not present defects in the skin and it turns it into a very showy product. It constitutes 95 % of the production of Alicante, and also it is cultivated in Almeria by his biggest precociousness.

Tanaka: there are the rounded fruits or with pear form, with skin of living orange color and pulp yellow - orange very sweet and aromatic. It is of the most late varieties.

Both varieties are most spread in our country.

Golden Nuget: there are the big fruits of almost round form, with skin of dark orange tone and very juicy pulp of the same color and with brown motes that alter often the vistosidad of the fruit. It is the most precocious but most acidic variety, and together with the variety Magdall they are cultivated in the area of Malaga and Granada.

Plush: these fruits have a spectacular size, elongated and contorted form and rough skin of pale yellow color. His pulp is beefy, juicy and it has sweet flavor although they turn out to be somewhat insipid. This variety of recent appearance on the market, every time is more well-known and emaciated.


The medlar is the first one of the fruits "of bone" that comes in spring to the markets, where it is possible to find from April until June.


It forms: it is a knob of ovoid or globular form. In his interior it lodges from 2 to 4 elongated seeds of brilliant brown color that can go so far as to occupy almost half of the volume of the fruit.

Size and weight: it has approximately 30 to 50 millimeters long, and a weight that ranges between the 50 and 100 grams, therefore two or three units are the advised consumption ration, according to the size. The medlars are calibrated like almost all the fruits measuring the diameter of his equatorial section, but with the peculiarity here of establishing a relation between the letter G and his size. The fruits concerning 30-35 millimeters are offered on the market as caliber G. Those who overcome 35 millimeters and 45 millimeters are even calibrated like GG (double G) and those who go on from 45-50 millimeters there corresponds to them the caliber GGG (triple G). The medlars of Denomination of Origin are of the "Extra" and "First" category and his minimal caliber will be 32 millimeters in diameter.

Color: the skin is thin, smooth and delicate, although in some varieties the rind is strong and tough, of yellow or orange color and becomes detached with facility on having been stretched from the stem. The pulp usually has a yellowish or whitish color.

Flavor: the meat is firm, juicy, compact and with an agreeable acidulous or sweet flavor in the good varieties.


At the time of choosing the medlars, these must fulfill a few basic quality norms: to be entire, healthy, exempt from visible strange matters and from smells and/or rare flavors, with the color of the uniform skin, and they must not present very soft areas on having done a soft pressure with the fingers. This fruit must be chosen matures and with the firm and well colored meat because green turns out to be indigestible.

The medlar has to present a sufficient development and a grade of such ripeness that allows him to support the manipulation, the transport, the conditioning and answer to the commercial requirements established for the same ones. All the materials of the compilation are protected not to cause bruises, blows or rubbings to the medlars, and the boxes that are used to transport them it has foam rubber ink pads so that during the transport they are not damaged.

So that the medlars mature earlier, they are wrapped in aluminum foil and place themselves in the freezer. On the following day, the fruit is already ready to eat. Once I mature, he has to boil away as soon as possible, and till then it is possible to preserve in the least cold part of the refrigerator.

Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 46
Carbohydrates (g) 10,6
Fibre (g) 10,2
Potassium (mg) 250
Magnesium (mg) 11
Calcium (mg) 30
Vitamin B1 (mg) 0,2
Beta - caroteno (provitamina A) (mcg) 18
mcg = micrograms

The sugar fructose and glucose are the most abundant substances after the water, and they provide to him the moderate caloric contribution and his particular sweet flavor. In general, the content vitamínico is quite low, and he stands out, although in very discreet quantities, the provitamina A or beta - caroteno and the tiamina. As for minerals, the medlar contributes valuable quantities of magnesium and calcium (of worse assimilation that that of the milk or other food rich in this mineral), although, the most abundant mineral is the potassium. He stands out for his wealth in fibre, pectin principally, as well as tannins, substances of astringent action and numerous aromatic substances as the organic acids (citric, tartaric and málico) abundant in his pulp, on that there depend diverse properties that assume to him.

The beta - caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The above mentioned vitamin is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system, in addition to having antirust properties. The potassium is a mineral necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse and for the normal muscular activity, it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell.

The citric acid and the málico have action disinfectant and alcalinizan the urine. The citric one, also, promotes the action of the vitamin C.

The succulent flavor of the pulp of the medlar does that this fruit is liked to most of persons who prove it. Also, for his facility to eat it and his nourishing properties, it can be consumed by the persons of all the ages.

The medlar stands out for his content in pectin, a type of soluble fibre, that he exercises diverse organic functions, what turns him into interesting fruit in different situations or illnesses. The soluble fibre retains water, swells up in the stomach forming a gel, what reduces the speed of gastric emptying and produces sensation of satiety, very useful for persons who continue slimming diets. To the pectin charitable effects assume to him in case of diarrhea since it makes the intestinal transit slower, on having retained water. The wealth joins this in tannins of the medlar (more abundant in his juice), substances with astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. The tannins dry and desinflaman the intestinal mucous membrane (layer that upholsters the interior of the digestive conduit), therefore the consumption of mature medlars turns out to be effective in the treatment of the diarrhea.

On the other hand, the pectin increases the pH (it diminishes the acidity) after there comes the acidic good mixed and neutralized with the food and the proper fibre, by what the consumption of mature medlars is indicated in case of gastrointestinal disorders (delicate stomach, gastritis, ulcer gastroduodenal, etc). To the wealth in pectin, the citric, tartaric acids join and málico abundant in his pulp, which they exercise on the mucous regulatory actions and tonificantes. Also, the fibre helps to reduce the cholesterol valuations in blood and to the good control of the glycemia (sugar levels in blood), therefore the medlars consumption is beneficial in case of hipercolesterolemia and diabetes.

The medlars varieties with the pulp of more marked color are a source not despicable at all of beta - caroteno, substance with antirust properties, therefore the consumption of these varieties helps to reduce the risk of degenerative, cardiovascular illnesses and enclosed of the cancer.

The medlar, given his high content in potassium and organic acids, is a good diuretic, the urine production increases and it facilitates the elimination of fine sands and sediments of uric acid of the kidneys, by what it is indicated especially in case of drop, excess of uric acid, calculations of uric acid, hypertension. Whom do there take diuretics that eliminate potassium and to the persons with bulimia; due to the episodes of autoinduced vomiting that provoke big losses of this mineral, the consumption of these fruits benefits them. Nevertheless, his consumption will have to be born in mind by the persons who suffer from renal insufficiency and who need of special diets controlled in this mineral.

Almost half of the volume of the medlar his big seeds occupy it, therefore there are those who take a small disappointment on having opened a medlar and to verify few quantity of meat that it offers.

In the Bermudas the medlar is used to prepare a local typical liquor.


The medlar is an emaciated fruit in general fresh, and for it it has to be completely mature, since otherwise it turns out to be acidic and indigestible. The form to peel this fruit is very simple: it throws itself of the stem down in order to detach the skin, and next the rest of the skin separates as if it was a question of a banana.

Considering his wealth in pectin is a fruit much adapted for the making of excellent jellies, compotes, jams and jams, although his consumption this way is not very widespread.


30 ' to 45'


- 1 kilogram of medlars
- 1/2 kilogram of sugar
- lemon juice

To clean the medlars, to divide them in 4 parts and to remove all the seeds. To set to cook the medlars in a big receptacle and to spray them with lemon juice. When they have boiled, to throw the sugar (half quantity of sugar that of fruit) until the jam thickens. To serve fries or to preserve in conserve pots.

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