Taiwan's Awesome Fruit!


#141

Thanks TG.

No-one is being very enthusiastic over the old eggfruit, so I’m not expecting that much.
The skin on fruit no 1 is just starting to split, may well eat it tonight.


#142

Interesting, didn’t know that one.

Chinese jojoba (Chinese dates - Zao zi) are in season, they don’t taste like a supercharged apple, for the rest of the year they are much sharper and acidic.

Strawberries also in season!


#143

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Interesting, didn’t know that one.

Chinese jojoba (Chinese dates - Zao zi) are in season, they don’t taste like a supercharged apple, for the rest of the year they are much sharper and acidic.

Strawberries also in season![/quote]

Still not sure about the zao-zi, had plenty over CNY. They’re nice enough, but not quite at the point where I’d go out and buy some myself.

Also went strawberry picking in Miaoli last week. Differed from pick-your-own in the Uk in 2 ways:

  1. Strawbs were being grown in raised beds, with the berries about chest high (if you’re a local!). Saves all that crouching and back-bending.
  2. Farm I was at had a strict no grazing policy, which was enforced by the farmer’s kids wandering the rows with eagle eyes. I still managed to get a few away though.

#144

[quote=“Nuit”]Also went strawberry picking in Miaoli last week. Differed from pick-your-own in the Uk in 2 ways:

  1. Strawbs were being grown in raised beds, with the berries about chest high (if you’re a local!). Saves all that crouching and back-bending.[/quote]

I used to go to this place in Cornwall, the have strawberries and raspberries grown on benches. trevaskisfarm.co.uk/pyo-farm-park/


#145

It does make sense, picking strawbs all day on your haunches is some workout.

Back to the eggfruit, I’m in. It’s quite moist and flavoursome in and around the sleek brown stone, like a gentle cheesecake in both texture and flavour.
Heading out towards the skin though, it quickly becomes chalky and darn hard to swallow without water.

I probably just haven’t got a very good one.


#146

egg fruit! never seen it here… where to find/buy?


#147

Lala Shan peaches are to die for. I think they come into season around June if I’m not mistaken. They are simply marvellous.


#148

Both times I’ve seen them, they’ve been almost hidden away and in small quantities (Lukang and Sanzhi).
But if you like, you can have my 2nd one. What’s your address? :slight_smile:


#149

For those wondering about the so called “egg fruit” discussed above, you can find out everything you need to know about this fruit in Taiwan here on this Chinese page about the fruit by a Taiwanese botany enthusiast. As you can see, the common name he gives it is “egg yolk fruit” 蛋黃果 dàn huáng guǒ, by the intense yellow color of the ripe flesh. It’s a strange fruit to me, not juicy, but tasting, when I had it, more like a well-cooked sweet potato… in a fruit!

Originally from the Americas, the website record states that the fruit was introduced into Taiwan from the Philippines in 1929, and that the main area for production in Taiwan is in Chiayi County: “佈: 台灣各地零星栽培,中南部及東部為盛產,以嘉義縣境為最主要產區。原產地:原產於美國佛羅里達州及古巴,本省於1929年由菲律賓引種,試種於嘉義農試所。”

@TempoGain was right in that the genus is Pouteria; but I think the exact species is also in Wikipedia under Pouteria campechiana - also known as the “canistel” or the “yellow sapote”. By the way, that Wikipedia page states that the fruit is sometimes wrongly assigned to the genus Lucuma, which is in fact what that previous Taiwanese website did, giving its scientific name as Lucuma nervosa.

Too lazy to wait for your sweet potato to cook? … just munch on a 仙桃 xiān táo.


#150

I bought one once out of curiosity. It was like eating a bar of soap. I assume it wasn’t ripe.

There is another sort of sapote I’ve seen (the only place so far was a fruit shop at Fuxinggang), pouteria caimito (abiu), labelled 黃金果. Impossible to describe the flavour, but well worth trying if you can get one.


#151

Here’s another interesting question? Are there any fruits or vegetables you have eaten here that are indigenous to Taiwan? I think I know one vegetable, but lets see if anybody else knows any?


#152

I’ve eaten some odd ones, but would have no idea if they were indigenous or not. How would you know?? And what’s your vegetable?

Back on the fruit front, I bought a few of these y’day from just below La La Shan forest reserve, roadside stall. Laobaniang told me there are ‘a type of tomato that originated in Yilan’. They were delicious, really quite sweet, and the first time that I’ve truly appreciated the tomato as a fruit. Sold as 温泉蕃茄, Hot Spring Tomato. There’s more info if you google the Chinese.


#153

[quote=“Nuit”]
Back on the fruit front, I bought a few of these y’day from just below La La Shan forest reserve, roadside stall. Laobania told me there are ‘a type of tomato that originated in Yilan’. They were delicious, really quite sweet, and the first time that I’ve truly appreciated the tomato as a fruit. Sold as 温泉蕃茄, Hot Spring Tomato. There’s more info if you google the Chinese.[/quote]

Thank you for that! i was wondering what kind of tomato were those…
Does anyone know what’s up with the watermelon being yellow in Taiwan?


#154

iv always wondered bout the yellow watermelons and about the green oranges in taiwan :slight_smile:


#155

Birds nest fern is popular and native as far as I know. Lots of other mountain vegies you can find served in aboriginal areas. Not sure about fruit.


#156

[quote=“Nuit”]Here’s one I’ve not seen before (Taiwan overflows with fruit, it must grow on trees!)

Sold to me as shoutao (壽桃) but seems to be more commonly known as xiantao (仙桃).
Got 2 unripened, sitting on the shelf.

Can anyone help with an English name?

[/quote]
Just a couple days after reading this post, I saw some of these at Dōngsōng páigǔ (東松排骨) near Songshan train station! Thanks to this thread, I actually knew what they were. I’d only eaten eggfruit once before, several years ago when some campers near Zengwen Reservoir shared theirs with me. What I ate back then looked more like the picture bomblog posted, but the eggfruit I ate the other day looked like Nuit’s here, and sure enough, the laobanniang called them xiāntáo (仙桃). There was a bowl of them on the counter by the cash register, but they gave me one that had already been cut up. The orange flesh is mildly sweet and quite dense and filling. When I finished my meal, I went back up to the counter to ask the price, and she gave me two more, refusing to let me pay for them. Some people are so generous!


#157

Referring to Taiwan’s indigenous fruit or vegetables, I mean natural varieties that occurred in Taiwan (there are also many excellent artificial bred varieties such as guavas, tomatoes above, black pearl lian wu). For any one interested here is a list of wild vegetables- agnet.org/library.php?func=v … &type_id=7 .
Here is a link indicating wild lychee and noni on Orchid Island
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yami_people

Then there are also escaped wild fruits like guava and mango. Here’s a history of how fruits came to be on the island and who brought what. Interesting!
taiwan.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=3 … 81&mp=1005

I knew about mountain ferns although they also occur in Japan. I’m wondering if there is any difference.

The only example I knew of that could be a natural local vegetable variety is Taiwan Shan Yao (台灣山藥- originally used in medicine and only recently promoted as a 養生 food), which is different than Japanese Shan Yao. I know this because I ate one once and hives broke out all over my body and I had to go to the hospital to get anti-allergy medicine!


#158

I know of one fruit; but does it count if they turn the fruit into a dessert?

One example of “famous” indigenous Taiwan produce is the “ai yu”- a fruit farmed in Taiwanese orchards that looks like a yummy soft fig in the shape of a huge avocado - which is made into that cold, refreshing and lemony droopy-looking jelly that you see being sold in bowls on the streets.

Wikipedia runs an informative description:

[quote]the fruits are then halved and turned inside out to dry over the course of several days. The dry fruits can be sold as is, or dried aiyu seeds (愛玉子, pinyin: aiyu zi) can then be pulled off the skin and sold separately… The aiyu seeds are placed in a cotton cloth bag, and the bag and its contents are submerged in cold water and rubbed. A slimy gel will be extracted from the bag of aiyu seeds as it is squeezed and massaged… The washed gel is then allowed to set into a jelly either in a cool location or in the refrigerator.
[/quote]

Found a bunch of photos from the blog of an enthusiastic Taiwanese female that show the whole process:

Delicious & fascinating!


#159

Oh yeah. Excellent. I love that stuff.


#160

Fascinating stuff, HH and bomblog. Keep it coming. I always assumed 愛玉 was just made with gelatin or agar!