Chinese Fruits

On July 14, 2011, in Featured China Stories, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

Most of us can go to our local supermarket and easily identify all of the fruit in the produce section. However, such may not be the case if we travel to China with China Travels. China covers such a large area that it even includes tropical regions! Additionally, China is in close proximity to the East Indian tropics, a fact that has greatly influenced its selection of fruits. Fly with China Southern Airlines to taste some of this yummy tropical fruit for yourself!

Lychees

Lychees (lìzhī)

Lychees are known for their distinctive, red-brown shell and sweet taste. With high levels of fundamental nutrients and vitamins, they were widely used in ancient Chinese medicinal practice.

Durian (liúlián)

The durian, “king of the fruits,” is native to Southeast Asia. Proponents love it for its taste, which can be likened to almond-vanilla-garlic-onion custard. Detractors will vilify its smell and incredibly tough, spiky skin that often draws blood if not handled properly. In Southeast Asia, the pungent smell of ripe durian is so distracting to humans that there are signs in hotels, hospitals, and public transportation sites prohibiting people from carrying the fruit there.

Waxberries

Waxberry (yángméi)

Waxberries, or China Bayberries, come from the wax myrtle tree. They have been collected for thousands of years and used for medicinal purposes. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals of the waxberries have been shown to keep the body healthy. Waxberries are also known for their extreme digestive cleansing power.

Longan (ǎnggēn)

Also known as the “Dragon’s Eye,” longans are about the size of a large grape with a yellow-brown skin enclosing a translucent white pulp. The fruit is extremely sweet and juicy, and can be found in both fresh and dried varieties.

Pomelo

Pomelo (yòuzi)

Did you know that a grapefruit is the result of a pomelo-orange cross? In China, cooks use the pomelo in various dishes, but primarily in desserts. This sweet, thick-skinned fruit is the largest member of the citrus family.

Chinese Quince (mùguā)

The Chinese Quince is hard and astringent, giving off an intense, sweet smell when ripe. The tree of the fruit is prized for its slow, elegant growth and no-fuss care regime.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen (shān zhú)

Legend holds that Queen Victoria offered a 100 pounds sterling reward to any subject who could bring her a mangosteen in prime condition – no one succeeded. But thanks to her quest, the fruit achieved the title, “Queen of Fruits.” The mangosteen is known for its reddish purple rind and sweet, tangy, juicy, fibrous endocarp.

Chinese food therapy holds that over-consumption of any food may set the body’s yin and yang off balance. Eating foods high in yang will cause a buildup of body heat (increased metabolism), possibly translating to acne or bad breath in the long-term. Examples of yang foods include mangoes, lychees, pineapples, peppers, and cherries. Over-consumption of foods high in yin may lead one to become lethargic or anemic. Examples of such foods include watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and green tea.

What are you waiting for? Join China Tours today and ask your expert tour guide about these wonderful fruits!

Jack Li
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