Market discovery: Chinese strawberry

Coming from Europe, June is strawberry season for me… so how happy was I to read that May-June is also the season for Chinese strawberries?! Well, not everything that goes by the same name is the same fruit in East and West.

Chinese Strawberry Waxberry Yumberry 1

Chinese Strawberry Waxberry Yumberry 2

The Chinese strawberry looks different – it is also called Waxberry, Yumberry or Yang Mei. It is the fruit of the wax myrtle tree – and while it looks like a berry, with lots of seeds on the outside, there is actually a seed inside.

But I am jumping too far ahead! At the moment, almost every fruit stall in the wet markets is selling a basket of ripe berries, in deep red to purple hue, for around 10 HKD. Usually the vendors do not know what the fruit is called in English, but once I point at the basket, they all smile and tell me it is a good choice and a healthy fruit. The fruits are touted for their ability to help alleviate pain and also for their ability to help prevent wrinkles and keep skin looking young – at least that’s what they say in China. And apparently they can be very cleansing… so don’t eat too many in one go!

Chinese Strawberry Waxberry Yumberry 3

Chinese Strawberry Waxberry Yumberry 4

The Waxberry is round, with an edible skin (it looks a little like a lychee from the distance, but once you get closer you can tell it is more like a raspberry or blackberry). The flesh inside is soft and overtly succulent with a ruby color slightly lighter than that of its exterior. Its flesh has a sweet tart flavour, a bit like a mix between a pomegranate, raspberry and kiwi, and contains a singular hard seed in the center of the fruit.

Chinese Strawberry Waxberry Yumberry 5

When you buy them, just make sure you really wash them well – they have lots of tiny pockets that small insects can get trapped in. Also it’s hard to tell if they have been sprayed with pesticides. So I just used a bath of white vinegar (1/3) and hot water (2/3) and soaked the berries in it, before washing them once more in hot water.

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3 responses to “Market discovery: Chinese strawberry

  1. Pingback: In good company | Moving East·

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