Spring is here and summer is on the way! People in China get to enjoy prime choices of exotic fruit. Some of them are so popular you can find them dried and ready for tea in the herb section of your local Asian market.
Even though these fruits are popular in the East, those in the West won’t easily find these fruits. This leads Westerners to miss out on the fun fruit snacking experience that has led Chinese people to find fruits so awesome that they give them as gifts.
Let’s countdown 8 of the most delicious, natural and juicy fruits people are snacking on!
8 Rose Apple (蒲桃 Pútáo)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drink apple, pear and rose juice? If not, then you probably are now and there is a remedy for your query. You need a rose apple (also called java apples since they originated in Southeast Asia).
Even though the 蒲（pú）character in the name looks and sounds like the character for grape 葡（pú）this fruit is nowhere near related to a grape, or to the rose family for that matter.
It tastes mildly sweet and refreshing like rosewater. The skin is crisp, waxy and edible. Since the average Westerner is usually eating things from the rose family already, such as apples, strawberries and pears, this rose tasting fruit from the myrtle family could add a bit of spice into your fruit salad.
7 Sugar-Cane (甘蔗 Gānzhè)
Near the end of summer, this awesome treat is sold by local fruit sellers. Though technically a grass and not a fruit, it is super fresh and delicious.
Don’t let the name put you off. Sugar-cane tastes as different from pantry sugar as ripe grapes are from grape jelly. One, sugarcane is unprocessed, full of vitamins and minerals, and juicy with a subtle but bursting flavor. Sugar, on the other hand, can only give you a short sugar high, then low. If you haven’t tried real, fresh from the stalk sugarcane, you should.
6 Custard/Sugar Apple (番荔枝Fān lìzhī/ 释迦果Shìjiāguǒ)
Originally coming from the Caribbean, these two creamy fruits are mushy in a good way! They taste like pear-vanilla yogurt with agave syrup. Though they look similar and even fruit sellers often confuse the two, they each have a distinct delicious flavor. Both are definitely worth a try.
5 Bayberry (杨梅 Yángméi)
This fruit is just about the most tart berry you can eat before your lips start to pucker up like you've sucked on a lemon. It is mildly sweet. Just watch out for the salted ones. Salted fruit can be an unpleasant surprise for the uninitiated. Can you imagine pouring salt on your blueberries?
4 Durian (榴莲果 Liúlián guǒ)
This is the most famous “stinky” fruit. To some, durian smells like gasoline. To others, durian smells like all the deliciously ripe fruits in one. This creamy fruit tastes like vanilla mango onion custard.
Don’t let the onion-ness scare you away. If you like caramelized onions then there is a good chance you will like durian. In China, durian is so popular that they even use it as a pizza topping.
3 Hawthorne (山楂 Shānzhā)
Haws are usually too sour to eat raw, so only try it fresh if you can stomach fresh cranberries. But, if you have it roasted, put in tea or lemonade, or--like this picture of tanghulu--skewered and glazed with sugar, it becomes delicious.
2 Jackfruit (菠萝蜜 Bōluómì)
Ripe yellow jackfruit tastes like cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, banana and a citrusy, chewy sweet potato all in one. Some people even say it tastes like Juicy-Fruit gum.
In China’s southern cities you can test your climbing skills with streetside jackfruit trees ripe for the picking, or you can use a long stick to knock them down. Just be careful when you are walking, because these giant fruits can suddenly drop to the ground, revealing their attractive scent, but also just missing giving you a concussion.
1 Longan (龙眼 Lóngyǎn)
This fruit is known as Dragon’s Eye because of its jelly pulp and black seed center. Chewing on the sweetest juicy pulp and spitting out the smooth ball-like seed makes longan the most addictively fun-to-eat fruit on this list.